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10 PDF Resume Formats
for 2020

When reviewing resumes for job applications, employers often prefer the PDF file format – and for good reason. A PDF is universally readable, and can be submitted “as is” for a majority of job applications. Use the tips on this page as well as our professionally designed, preformatted PDF templates to create your own polished PDF resume.

Top Resume PDF Templates

Refined

A solid choice for jobs across all industries, this template categorizes information in an orderly, easy-to-read fashion, with plenty of space to feature your work history.

Essence

The two-column layout of this organized, classy template allows you to fit in plenty of details for your Skills and Work Experience sections.

Standout

The simple graphical elements and different color fonts give this template a striking look while also making it easy for a hiring manager to scan all of your important information.

Managerial

As the name of the template implies, this layout works well for job seekers who can showcase extensive work experience. The monogram design also establishes a personal brand for the candidate.

Pacific

With a colorful header that sets your name and contact information apart from your career information, this template stands out from standard black-and-white resumes.

Distinguished

Using a simple, minimal layout with a dash of color for the header and important sections, this template makes good use of space.

Accentuate

The color in this template’s header makes the job applicant’s name stand out and its straightforward two-column layout allows plenty of space for skills and work history.

Centered

This minimalistic design features strong, simple borders to set off the applicant’s contact information and the all-important Summary Statement.

Blueprint

Clear, strong headers for each section of the resume is the focus of this template. The job seeker’s name stands out for easy reference, thanks to the large font.

Qualified

This template sets off work dates in your job history, making it a good choice for job candidates who want to show steady, continuous career growth.

4 Reasons to Use PDF Templates for Your Resume

  1. Almost everyone can open a PDF Sending your resume in other file formats can be tricky if the recipient doesn’t have the right software to open it. Virtually everyone can open a PDF file, whether they’re using a web browser or a free PDF reader.
  2. For PDFs, one size fits all When you submit your resume in a format such as Microsoft Word, it might look very different – and very sloppy –  if someone views it in a version of Word that doesn’t use the same fonts or formatting, or views it in a non-Word word processing program. On the other hand, PDFs are specifically designed to look the same on all devices.
  3. PDF templates are ATS-friendly As long as your PDF is formatted and saved correctly (more on this in a bit), it can be easily scanned by applicant tracking systems (ATS) that employers use to review resumes.
  4. You can be more creative with design You can use programs such as Adobe Photoshop or InDesign to build more eye-catching layouts for your resume, and then save them to PDF. Try doing that with your run-of-the-mill word processing app! Easier still, you can choose from our selection of creative templates and customize them using our free builder.

4 Tips for Creating Your Resume in PDF Format

  • Keep it clean. Don’t use charts, graphs, images, text boxes or overly fancy layouts. This can throw off ATS scans and land your resume in the (virtual) trash before human eyes even see it.
  • Keep it simple. This isn’t the time for unique symbols or fancy fonts. Use a standard font that a human (or ATS) can easily glance through, such as Garamond, Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri.
  • Copy, paste and review. Want to confirm if your PDF resume is ATS-ready? Simply copy and paste the text from your PDF into Microsoft Word or a blank text document. If the information copies over cleanly and is readable, you’re good to go.
  • Edit your PDF without muss and fuss. Editing a PDF template can be a tricky proposition. Converting it to a different format like Microsoft Word for editing doesn’t always go smoothly, and converting revisions back to PDF can introduce new formatting issues. If you need to edit your template, Sejda’s free PDF editor is a decent option. Better yet, just use our Resume Builder, which stores all the resumes you create and allows you to conveniently update and download new versions.

How to Save Your Resume as a PDF File

If you’re creating or editing your resume using the following programs, follow these instructions for converting them into readable PDFs. Remember, you can always make sure your final PDF is readable by copying and pasting some text from it into a new text or Word document to see how it looks.

Adobe Photoshop and InDesign: In Photoshop, go under File > Save As, and then choose “Photoshop PDF.” On the next screen, choose the PDF preset. “PDF/X-4” is a good option for a resume PDF.

save-as-pdf

For InDesign, the process is the same, except you will go under File > Export, and then choose “Adobe PDF” for the format.

Microsoft Word: To convert a Word document into PDF format, go under File > Export. Choose the “Create a PDF/XPS document” option.

create-pdf

The PDF file should open automatically in Word for review once you’ve exported it.

Google Docs: Go under File > Download, and choose “PDF” as your download option.

 

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