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PDF Resume - How (And Why) To Make A PDF Format Resume

Updated on February 7, 2010

A PDF Resume. Easy As, Well...

PDF Resume - Making a PDF Format Resume Is Almost As Easy As This.
PDF Resume - Making a PDF Format Resume Is Almost As Easy As This.

Out of the loop on PDF resumes? A former recruiter explains why you need one, and how to easily convert your Word or WordPerfect resume to a PDF format resume.

A PDF resume. What's the big deal? Why should you have to format a PDF resume when you've got a fully functional resume all ready to go in Microsoft Word? Well, the short answer is because more and more employers are requesting PDF resumes as attachments in email correspondence. And the reason they're doing that is because Word attachments continue to be plagued with the occasional virus. Or they're not able to be opened because of incompatible software on the receiving end.

Neither is a problem with PDF file attachments. Plus, the PDF resume retains all the formatting of the original Word or WordPerfect document from which it was hatched: the graphics in the header, the pleasing bullet points, the bold and the italics, the font that makes it a pleasure to read.

So there it is. Virus free. Any computer can open one. And no loss in formatting particulars. What's not to love about PDF format resumes? Let's get down to making one.

If your formatted resume was prepared using...

Microsoft Office Word 2007

1 - With your resume completed and saved, open it in Word. Click the Office Button (upper left-hand corner), and point to "Save As." When the secondary menu opens, click "Other Formats."

2 - In the dialog box, check to see if PDF is listed as one of the option under "Save as type." If not, jump directly to step 3. If it is listed as one of the options, click it. Change the "File name" if you prefer (new file will have the extension .pdf whether you change the file name or not). Click "Save."

3 - If PDF was not an option under "Save as type," close window and return to step 1. This time, when secondary menu opens, click "Find add-ins for other file formats." On the new pop-up window, click the heading marked "Install and use the Save as PDF or XPS add-in from Microsoft." Follow further instructions to install the add-in from Microsoft. It's free. Once installed, you can then save your resume file in PDF format.


1 - With your resume completed and saved, open it in WordPerfect. Click on the "File" tab (upper left-hand corner). Scroll down and point to "Publish to." Follow the arrow right and click on "Publish to PDF."

2 - The dialog box will show a default path where the new file will be saved. If you would rather save the file elsewhere, click on the "Browse" button to navigate to another folder. Otherwise, leave the destination pathway alone and click "OK."

3 - The PDF file is saved at the location specified. Note: the new PDF will not open automatically. You will need to navigate to the file and click it to open the PDF.

Or, Prepare Your PDF Resume Using An Online Alternative

Should you prefer not to use the above methods, or if you simply can't get things to work, there are online alternatives to converting a formatted resume to a PDF file - both paid and free. In the latter category, consider...

Regardless of how you get the job done, having a PDF format resume at the ready will prove its value throughout your job search campaign.

"BTW, a number of professional resume writers will set up up with a PDF resume as part of their package," says former recruiter David Alan Carter. "More importantly, the best resume services also understand how to work with keywords to ensure your e-resume will pop up in database searches." Carter has put together Resume Service Reviews of the Web's most popular writers at the website, reviewing quality of workmanship, spelling out their pricing, and giving each a star ranking.

Two books that I feel are particularly helpful to job seekers...

Best Answers to the 201 Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions
Best Answers to the 201 Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions

"Career expert Matthew J. DeLuca reveals the secret agenda behind every kind of question interviewers ask, and prepares you to answer them all." -- Editorial Review



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