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PDF or Word Resume: How to Choose Your Resume Format

Jane Zhou updated on Aug 29, 2023 | Home > PDF Knowledge Center | min read

Recently, Microsoft is making a change to its Microsoft Office branding. Microsoft Office is being renamed by Microsoft 365. After the official renaming, our article content will be updated accordingly.

A resume is a valuable tool in the employment sector. If you have a great resume, you can attract recruiters or hiring companies and help them choose you over the rest. If you are learning how to create your own resume, the first thing to consider is the format. There are different ways to format your resume, but the two most common resume formats are PDF and Word. Depending on your goals, each of these types may be beneficial. You can also use a free template that can guide you in formatting your information effectively.

Once you've drafted the information for your resume and you are ready to apply for a job, you need to weigh in the perks of using a PDF or Word resume. Though there are pros and cons of using both, you should, as a rule, send your resume as a PDF. In this article, you will learn about these two resume formats and how each of them can help you advance your career goals. 

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Things You Need to Know About Word Resume

Microsoft Word makes it easy to create a professional, well-formed resume for any job application. Although there are many styles of resume templates, most Word resumes are in one of three formats.

A "chronological resume" list your work history and experience in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent position. A "functional resume" emphasizes your experience, skills, and accomplishments rather than your work experience and the companies you've worked for. The "mixed resume" allows for more personalization because you can combine your work experience with more relevant details about your skills and interests.

A Word resume is very versatile. You can use different styles, and you have many editing tools at your disposal.


  • Word's tools can help you to easily organize your resume
  • You don't need to be an expert to create a Word resume
  • Its user interface enables you to save time


  • Word resumes are usually affected by inconsistencies that can change the formatting
  • Since Word deals with many fonts, you can encounter common unintended changes in your resume fonts

>>> Read also: PDF vs Word

Learn More About PDF Resume

The PDF resume is not that different from a Word resume. The only difference is that instead of saving the Word resume as Word, you save it as a PDF file. This means that you can create your resume in different styles by using Word, and then you can save it to PDF. This is usually done because PDF files are one of the most reliable file formats in the world. Hence, it is one of the most common file formats used to submit resumes.

In fact, most times, employers will clearly state in the application instructions that they need a PDF resume. Hence, it is helpful to save a copy of your resume as a PDF file to submit it in the correct format with your application.


  • Every format in your file remains the same
  • With PDF, there are no flagged words or phrases
  • When you save your file as PDF, no other user will be able to alter it, so it remains safe
  • PDFs are usually virus-free


  • Recruiters can't edit your resume, even if they wish to
  • It is difficult for you to change page and text properties without using a PDF editor

>>> You may want to know how to create a PDF

Choose the Best Format for Your Resume

Even though there are many benefits to submitting your resume in PDF format, you should also consider all the options. That being said, here you have some instances where it is better to use a PDF or Word resume.  

Word or PDF Resume

When to Use The Word Resume: 

#1. Employer preference:

Employers can request your resume as a Word document because it is easy to open on any device or simply because they prefer it that way. In this case, please be sure to send it as a .doc file, as it can be opened in older programs or systems. 

#2. To upload the resume to an applicant tracking system

An applicant tracking system is a program that scans specific keywords and data on your resume. This is done to search among several summaries at once. Due to various technical reasons, this system cannot always scan PDF accurately and may miss keywords. 

 When to Use a PDF Resume: 

#1. Employers require a PDF resume 

Some job applications will provide clear instructions on submitting your job application. Please read these instructions carefully and double-check that your application meets all the requirements because employers usually ask for PDF.

#2. Send your resume as an email attachment

As you know, emails with attachments from unknown senders can be marked as spam or potentially threatening emails. However, PDFs are much less likely to contain viruses, so you send them via email to ensure that your email reaches your employer's inbox. 

#3. Send your resume to the online application 

If you are applying through an online application system, it may be helpful to upload your resume as a PDF file so that the system can easily search and scan it. This way, when your application passes automatic control and reaches the employer, it will be available at any time.

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How to Edit Your PDF Resume Without Any Hassle

PDF files are difficult to modify or edit because they are not made for editing. The PDF format is destined to protect your information and structure. However, many alternatives allow you to edit PDF files and make changes to the PDF. One of the best choices is EaseUS PDF Editor. It is taking the Internet by storm for the past months thanks to its advanced features and excellent user interface. If you want to edit your PDF resumes, you only need to download and install this Windows PDF editor on your Windows PC.

By using its editing tools, you can modify most text properties like font, size, spacing, and even color. Also, it is possible to insert new text! Also, you have other tools at your disposal. For example, you can convert PDF to other formats, and you can compress heavy PDF to reduce PDF size

EaseUS PDF Editor

  • Text editing tools to text and page settings in your PDF resume
  • Convert PDF to image and other file formats in seconds
  • Create PDF fillable forms for any official record
  • Identify scanned text and convert it to editable text

Now let's take a look at how to edit the PDF resume with this versatile PDF editor before sending it:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS PDF Editor and click "Edit". Then, choose and import the PDF you want to edit from your computer.

EaseUS PDF Editor Main Interface

Step 2. There are many editing tools. You may choose to add text, image, link, watermark, set background, edit header & Footer, etc. Always remember to save the changes with the "Save" button.

EaseUS PDF Editor Editing Tools

Step 3. When you made all the changes, click "File" > "Save as" to save it to your computer. You need to give the new PDF file a name and file location, and click "Save" in the next window to finish.

EaseUS PDF Editor Save as PDF

About the Author

author Jane Zhou

Jane Zhou

Jane is an experienced editor for EaseUS focused on tech blog writing. Familiar with all kinds of video/PDF editing and screen recording software on the market, she specializes in composing posts about recording and editing videos. All the topics she chooses are aimed at providing more instructive information to users.

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