3 reasons why you need a Word document version of your resume

If you want to create a beautifully-designed resume, there’s lots of choice when it comes to templates that can be found online. Templates are available in Microsoft Word, InDesign and even Canva. (Check out some of my favourite designs here.)

But if you’re about to start writing your resume using a template in InDesign, Canva, or another design-focused program, stop and read this first!

Before you start designing your dream resume, draft your resume in Microsoft Word. Don’t have Word and you’re on a Mac? Use Apple Pages and save or export the file as .docx. This applies even if you’re not going to use Word or Pages to design the final product. Review, edit and perfect the .docx document, and then move the copy into your chosen layout using the other design program, like InDesign or Canva.

If you’re wondering why you need to take this extra step…

Here’s three reasons why you need a Word document version of your resume.

1. Resume scanning software require Word docs

Some applicant tracking systems (ATS) require candidates to submit Word documents. The software will scan common headers, like “work experience” and “education,” to assess each applicant’s suitability based on the job description. ATS also scan the document for relevant keywords. Learn more about putting the right keywords in your resume here.

2. Word docs have helpful editing features

Whether you proof your resume yourself, or send it to someone else for their input, Word’s reviewing features, like tracked changes and comments, can streamline the review process.

3. Recruiters prefer Word docs  

If you work with a recruiter in your job search, they might request a Word document. A recruiter could add their agency’s logo or branding so that the company it’s sent to will know which recruiter sent it, or they might want to share edits with you using Word’s editing features.

A reminder: No matter what program you use to design your resume, as a best practice, always send a PDF version as a first step, since PDFs can’t be easily altered and they can be universally viewed using free software. Only send or submit a Word document if requested.

Have a question, or need help editing your resume? Please leave a comment below.

Image credit: Pixabay.com.

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