Sending a CV: PDF or Word?

One of the most commonly asked questions in the world of CV writing and sending is whether to send a CV in PDF or Word format. After having created your CV and perfecting it to the max, you want to send it in the right format or else all your hard work will be wasted. There are pros and cons of sending your CV in both types of format, although these days it’s most common to send a CV in PDF format.

Look out for employer’s instructions to see first whether they have specified a format. Usually, job listings will have instructions for anything specific such as whether or not to include a cover letter and which format to send your CV in. Always follow the guidelines and instructions given in a job listing, as going against them or ignoring them can set you off on the wrong foot.

In the past, Word format CVs were sent frequently but these days, CVs in PDF have taken over, as generally, its advantages tend to weigh out the disadvantages over a CV in Word format.

sending a cv in pdf or word

Why PDF format?

PDF is a less problematic format. A PDF-formatted CV will go unchanged no matter what PDF reader it’s opened on. Word documents can change format due to different programme updates and versions, meaning that your whole CV can go skewwhiff by accident. Fonts and margins can also appear differently on Word documents, or pages can spill over onto another page. There is also the chance that your Word format CV could appear as undecipherable code.

Whether using windows, mac or a mobile device, your CV will always be viewed in the same PDF format and will never change, no matter what.

Using an online CV builder is useful for those worried about CV formats, as you can download in PDF and there are also plenty of templates to choose from. Use a CV template to avoid design issues and forget about formatting issues thanks to pre-formatted templates and download options.

sending a cv in pdf or word

Word format CVs

There are occasions when word-formatted CVs are requested by companies. Sometimes this has to with the fact that you can edit a CV in Word format, but not in PDF. Recruitment companies can use CVs in Word format to edit out the contact information. This avoids any miscommunication while the company manages communication between the employer and the candidate.

Word documents are also handy for editing in terms of CV mistakes and job application buzzwords. Sometimes agencies make minor changes or correct your CV. This can also be done as a job application method for passing ATSs (Automatic Tracking Systems).

ATSs are used to scan through CVs for significant information, CV buzzwords and keywords. Beforehand, Word documents were much easier to scan, but nowadays ATS software can be used on PDF documents, as well.

For an effortless way to write and format a CV, create and download your CV in PDF thanks to our online CV builder.