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The Portable Document Format, or PDF for short, is a great way to save your documents when you don't want the formatting to change and you want someone to be able to easily view the document across different types of computers. Most everyone has something installed on their computer to be able to view these types of documents, and if they don't, there are many free viewers such as Adobe Reader that are available for free to download. It's a great idea to save a copy of your resume in this format to include in your job-search toolbox. The downside to sending your resume in PDF format is a lot of recruiters need to copy and paste your resume into their own systems, such as an Applicant Tracking System, or ATS for short.
Some of the newer ATS systems allow the recruiter to upload with no problems, but a majority of these systems don't have this capability. Some ATS applications come with the option to purchase an additional piece to the program that allows uploading PDFs, but unfortunately, it's expensive and most recruiting firms have opted out, at least for now. Since PDF files are for viewing purposes only, sending as a PDF protects your resume from changes, but it also keeps the recruiter from being able to copy and paste the information into their system.
In addition, many of the top resume banks don't have the ability to upload as a PDF either. The upside is is when you send your resume via an email attachment to your prospective employer, the formatting will stay intact and look near perfect when they open and print it out for their files. Therefore, it's a great idea to save a copy in this format for quick retrieval, especially when time is of the essence. Another idea is that you can send your resume to them in both formats--one for copying and pasting and a prettier PDF format for printing and sending to potential employers.
There are several ways to convert a document to PDF format. If you have Word 2010, you can just go to File > Save As, go down to the Save as type dropdown box, and then select PDF. Of course, you want to give it a name, continue with the same naming convention that we've been using. So my name-- you want use yours of course--slash Resume. I also want to make sure that I put it in my Resume folder that I've already created, which is located out on the Desktop, underneath Resumes.
Just make sure that you stay organized during your search. And I am going to save it in my Resumes folder. So again, it's under my Resumes folder, Mariann Siegert -Resume, and it's going to be a PDF document. I just click on Save and there it is. Now if I look at my PDF document, it looks beautiful. Nothing's changed. Everything's in place. No tweaking is needed. And I am going to go ahead and close out of the Adobe document and I am back in Word. If you've purchased Acrobat, not just the Acrobat Reader but the actual full version, you may also use the printer driver that comes with the program.
In order to do that, you just go up to File, but instead of going to our Save As, as we've been doing, we're going to print since it's a printer driver. So click on File, click on Print. Make sure your printer driver here says Adobe PDF. Now remember, you're only going to see this if you've purchased that full-blown version of Acrobat, not just Acrobat Reader. Then click on Print. After you click on File > Print, if it doesn't pop up automatically, you may see the little spinning wheel going on forever here.
Look down in the bottom. It may be minimized down here. And if you click on it, you'll see that you've got your Save PDF file as dialog box kind of hidden down there and minimized on the bottom. And then just bring it up. We're going to save this file on our desktop underneath of our Resumes folder. Make sure that you browse to wherever you've created your Resumes folder. We're going to give it a name. I am going to stay with the same naming convention, Mariann Siegert - Resume, and I am just going to put 2 since this is the second PDF that we've saved.
Make sure the Save file as type says PDF file; it should automatically say that. And then click on Save. These are just a few of the ways to save a file to PDF. Of course, there are a million different situations out there: folks using Macs, PCs, that you created your resume in a different version of Word, or use WordPerfect instead. You might have Adobe installed, or you don't have Adobe installed and on and on and on. So the possibilities are almost infinite. Therefore, depending on your own setup and needs, if the two above situations didn't match your situation, simply perform a search on the Internet.
There's lots of information out there on creating PDFs from your documents. It's a good idea to save a copy of your resume to PDF format so that you're ready in a moment's notice. You never know when a situation will arise that your future employer needs your resume sent to them ASAP in PDF format. Show them that you're not only computer savvy and technically advanced, you're also well prepared. The beauty of sending your resume in PDF format is your masterpiece will still look the same on the employer's screen as it does on yours.
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