Due to differences between computer systems and software compatibility issues, you will likely experience formatting issues that cause your Microsoft Word résumé to look different from the Adobe Acrobat PDF file of your résumé.
This is normal in Microsoft Word as the software adapts to the printer and formatting settings on the recipient’s system. Most employers and recruiters are equipped to make the necessary changes to get your file to work with their systems. (If they express formatting concerns to you, you can offer to send them an Acrobat Adobe PDF instead.) Because each user’s system is different, I cannot provide technical support.
I recommend copying the files onto your hard disk and also creating a backup (on CD, DVD, or flash drive). For confidentiality reasons, do not copy these files onto your employer’s computer system.
Using Your Adobe PDF File
You will not be able to make changes from this file; however, if you open it, you will be able to print a copy of your résumé that can be used as an “original” and printed on résumé paper, or the PDF can be used for producing high-quality photocopies, if printed on a laser printer. Double-click on the PDF file. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it for FREE from www.adobe.com.
Using Your Microsoft Word Résumé
First, open Microsoft Word on your computer. Then, choose “Open” from the “File” menu and locate the file. Make any changes necessary to correct font substitution and line spacing problems. (See below.) Note: You must have the Microsoft Word software application installed on your computer to manipulate the Word file.
Common Fixes to Problems with Your Word Résumé
- After saving the file to your hard drive, open Microsoft Word FIRST. From the “File” menu, choose “Open,” and select the file from where you saved it on your computer.
- For font substitutions, highlight the affected text and choose a font from your computer system to use instead. If the font that was substituted is too big (for example, your one-page résumé now runs 1-1/2 pages), go to the “Edit” menu and choose “Select all.” Then choose a smaller font (for example, Times New Roman). See if that fixes the issue.
- If the résumé is running just a couple lines onto an additional page (or pages), adjust the document margins. (If the existing margin is 1 inch, change it to 0.9 inches and see if that makes a difference.) If that doesn’t work, change the margins again or choose a smaller font.
Sending Your Résumé as a Microsoft Word E-mail Attachment
Open your e-mail program. Address an e-mail and indicate in the body of the e-mail “Attached is my résumé, prepared in Microsoft Word. If you would prefer to receive my résumé as a text-only file, please contact me.”
Click on the icon to “attach file” and select the file.
Using Your ASCII (Text-Only) Résumé
This is the version of your résumé you should use when you are using a career website that asks you to paste in a copy of your résumé. Have your text-only file open (first open your word processing program or text editor, then choose “open” from the “file” menu). Copy the text from your résumé and paste it into the space provided on the website.
If you’re located in the U.S. or Canada, click here to schedule your free strategy session today!
Jennifer Owenby offers her combined expertise as a recruiter along with training as a professional resume writer. Please visit ONB Professional Resumes and LinkedIn Services for additional information and scheduling an appointment.