Knowing how to format your curriculum vitae (CV), or resume, can be extremely beneficial in your professional life. Having a resume that looks good -- both in content and presentation -- is crucial as you build your career. As such, it’s important for you to ensure your resume is as polished as it can be. This is where having a good PDF converter can come in handy.
Why Use the PDF Format?
Why convert your resume or CV into a PDF document, you may ask? For starters, a PDF -- or Portable Document Format -- is a more universal file among other formats. Compared to other file formats, a PDF can be easily accessed and even edited across different platforms. Regardless of your device’s operating system, a PDF is almost always readable -- more so than other formats.
In addition to this convenience, PDF files are often an industry standard in a number of different businesses. Often, headhunters and potential employers will request your resume or CV to be submitted as a PDF document. As such, being able to convert your file -- whether it’s from Word to PDF or even PPT to PDF -- can be very convenient in your job application process.
Problems With the Applicant Tracking System
A company’s Applicant Tracking System, or ATS, further reinforces how universal a format PDFs are. As an electronic software, the ATS automates the handling of recruitment tasks. This automation may pose a risk to your chances of being noticed and ranking better if your resume or CV is unrecognizable to the ATS.
It’s also worth noting that many ATS algorithms are outdated and unintelligent. This means that keeping your resume or CV properly formatted is crucial. Otherwise, the information on it may end up distorted, or worse: lost. So, no matter how prolific you are when it comes to drafting your resume, it will all be for naught if its format can’t even be recognized anyway.
CV and Resume Tips
Need some tips to give your job application that extra bit of flair it needs? Here are some ways to elevate your resume and make it stand out in the best way possible.
Make Sure Your Resume is Presentable
It goes without saying that the way you present your resume is vital. It’s what potential employers will have as the basis for what you can do and if you’re a good fit with their company. Think of your resume as the first impression you can make on employers. Naturally, you’re going to want to make this first impression last.
Your resume needs to be in the best format possible while still delivering impact. As to how simple or flashy your resume needs to be will depend on the industry you apply to. Thinking of applying to a design studio? Your resume itself can act as a piece from your portfolio. Create a resume that shows your aesthetic and what you can do in a creative space. You can create your resume on a design software and get creative.
Where will that leave your resume format, though?
From here, you can simply export your resume file as a JPG and convert it to a PDF file. Many PDF converters, such as PDFBear, offer the option to make JPG to PDF file conversions. In fact, you can even convert documents from Excel to PDF if working on Excel works best for you.
Keep Things Concise
Some fresh grads might be tempted to include every single accolade and accomplishment they have under their belt. While this can indeed show off your achievements, it might also come off as overwhelming.
Recruiters have to sift through several applications in a day. As such, they won’t have all the time in the world to thoroughly review your CV. It will be best, then, to stick to simple bullet points for something more straightforward. Avoid writing paragraphs, as these will most likely be glossed over.
Tailor Your CV to the Job You’re Applying For
In order to show how well a fit you are for the company you’re applying to, be sure to edit your CV wisely. Rearrange certain sections of your CV if you must. Or, you can even create specific CVs for every job you apply for.
It’s worth noting that recruiters might only skim through your CV. Thus, it will help if you keep the most relevant skills and accomplishments towards the beginning of your CV. That way, recruiters will be able to easily spot any of your strengths that they may benefit from should they hire you.
Include Keywords From the Job Description
Study the job descriptions that you’re interested in. From there, make sure to jot down specific keywords and integrate them into your resume wherever relevant. Doing this can help raise your chances of making it past the ATS and having your application forwarded to an HR manager.
It’s all about optimizing your application. This can help make sure recruiters will perceive you as an ideal candidate for the position you apply for.
Go Basic When It Comes to Fonts
Unless you’re applying for a job in the creative industry, using a clean and basic font will be imperative for your CV. You want a font that is easy to read, not just for hiring managers, but for ATS programs as well. There’s no need to drown your CV in fancy effects when your achievements already speak volumes of what you can do.
Make Use of Numbers When It Comes to Quantifiable Achievements
Although not all of your accomplishments may be quantifiable, it’s best to include ones that can be quantified whenever possible. Numbers are a more black-and-white way of showing recruiters just what you can do. It’s a simple strategy, but it’s effective nonetheless.
Look at Examples of Resumes in Your Industry
When crafting your own resume, it can help to review other resume samples. This can give you a better idea of what details to include in your own resume. Furthermore, they’re a great source of inspiration for ideas on how to format your resume. Just be sure not to copy these examples down to the very last detail. They’re meant to be guides more than anything else.
Use a CV Template
In the same vein as reviewing sample CVs, using a free CV template is very useful and can even help you save on time. Having a template can help you figure out how to layout your CV and will show you which sections to highlight over others. This can be particularly useful for fresh grads who are a little less familiar with what makes a good CV or resume.
Additionally, templates can show you what to include in your CV in the first place. This includes specific information to supply in each section of your CV. Ultimately, it helps take out the guesswork in putting together an efficient and presentable resume/CV.
Templates are useful for more seasoned applicants as well thanks to ATS-friendly CV templates. With the use of such templates, more experienced applicants can ensure their CV is compatible with ATS programs.
What Sort of CV Templates Should You Use?
It might be overwhelming to browse through the many CV templates that are available to you. With that said, it’s worth noting that the template you go for will depend wholly on the industry you’re applying to.
Template by Anixel Studio via SmashResume
If you’re applying for a job in a more creative industry, then it may help if you opt for a free CV template that leans more on the artsy side. This can be a great way to showcase not just your creativity, but your personality as well.
Template from Hloom
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a job in a more corporate setting, then a more traditional template will best suit your needs. It goes without saying that corporate jobs demand a certain level of professionalism, so it’s expected that your CV reflects the same sophistication.
You might think that simpler templates look boring, but this is exactly what you want when applying for a corporate job. You want to let your skills and achievements do the talking for you. So, what better way to do that than to make do without fancy fonts and bright colors? Keep things simple and clean to let your accomplishments shine.
Template by Fadhli Robbi via SmashResume
Modern templates are also available for you to peruse. They are a good middle ground between creative templates and more classic ones. Using modern templates provides an air of elegance to your CV. However, do take note that using such templates will still depend on the industry you’re looking to work in. Just because a template looks good, it doesn’t mean that it will automatically work in your favor.
Converting a Resume or CV Template to PDF
As previously mentioned, you might be more comfortable with using other programs when it comes to whipping up your CV or resume. This shouldn’t be a problem so long as you convert your final product into an application-friendly format.
PPT to PDF
Some people may opt to use PowerPoint as their program of choice. This can be an efficient software, especially since PowerPoint already has some good-looking templates of its own. There are also CV templates that cater specifically to PowerPoint users. Thus, you can download one of those and see which one aligns with your needs and preferences.
It should be said that submitting your CV in a PPT format might not be the most professional approach when it comes to job applications, though. For starters, a PPT file will be more time consuming to review than a PDF file that is more straight to the point. Remember: keep things concise -- including how you present your CV in the first place. As such, it’s best to use a file converter to make sure your CV is available in a more commonly used format, such as PDF.
JPG to PDF
Another method some applicants may opt for when it comes to making their CVs is through Photoshop. Considering there are several available templates in the Photoshop format, it should be a breeze to find a CV template that works well with your Photoshop skills.
Although Photoshop is capable of saving your file as a PDF right off the bat, it can also help to create backups -- not just as PSDs or PDFs, but as JPGs as well. You can never have too many duplicates of your CV, so why not have one copy in JPG as well?
A JPG file can be converted to a PDF document through the use of a file converter. Be sure to use a good converter like PDFBear to make sure no information or quality is lost in the conversion.
Notably, on PDFBear, you have the option of combining several JPG files at once into one PDF document. In addition to this nifty feature, PDFBear also has the option of letting users specify the size of their finalized PDF product. It even has options for specifying margin sizes and what orientation your PDF needs to be in.
Overall, the format of your CV or resume will be just as important as the actual content it holds. To reiterate, your CV/resume will be the first impression you can make on a recruiter without even meeting them. Therefore, it’s vital to make a good impression that lasts after this first point of contact. There’s only so much you can show in your CV, so be sure to make every word count.
The job market is always competitive, but with the right tools, you can improve your chances of standing out among other candidates. Not a lot of people find their perfect fit on their first job application, so don’t give up. With these tips, you’ll be able to land that job you’re applying for sooner than later. Good luck!