File format for a CV
The file format can be many things: .doc/docx, .rtf, .xml, .pdf, .odt, .fodt. We prefer a doc/docx file. Just because. If you want to make us happy, send it in doc/docx! Others may see it differently. It also depends on what the person receiving the CV is going to do with it. Print it out? Save it? Delete it without saving? Save and print out? Insert it into a more serious database system? Retrieve it later? Search for it among CVs? How many CVs do they handle in a month, a year? You don’t need to answer the above questions, just think about it, that if a recruiter prefers to receive a CV in a certain format they most likely do so due to one of the above reasons, which a) they are not going to tell you, and b) it isn’t likely that they are just messing around you. (But if they are, you shouldn’t re-mess with a potential employer, ok? 🙂 )
But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty!
.doc/.docx: Practically everyone knows this format. Nearly every company has MS Word, that is, they will be able to open the file. If not, it’s their fault. Word documents have the advantage that they can be modified, additionally, in such a way as to not mess up the formatting. For the sake of speed, the recruiters themselves may add things which you discussed at the job interview. Disadvantages are that they can be modified, sometimes messing up the formatting, the recruiters themselves may add things which were not discussed at the job interview or anywhere else. Furthermore, if you are sending from Mac OS to Windows, from Linux to Windows or from Windows to Linux, the document may well go through some ‘interesting’ changes. It is another advantage that they can be easily searched for alphabetically among large amounts of .Docx documents.
.rtf: Opens in MS Word, understood by every operating system, pretty fail-safe format. See above from the perspective of being able to be modified, or for searchability.
.pdf: You format it nicely, and that’s how it remains. Everyone will see it the way you want. Thus, it cannot be modified, not even should the HR assistant wish to turn the four-page document into a two-pager. Not even to help eradicate a typo. Disadvantages are that pdf files cannot be found using the search function of every operating system, albeit the possibility of a simple search exists on every machine, i.e., with most head-hunters and HR people. Although it’s rare nowadays, not every PC has a pdf reader, which is required to open the file, installed. This isn’t a big issue, but
1) at large companies users cannot generally install just anything onto their machine
2) it is possible that the HR person/head-hunter, doesn’t understand it
3) they can get stressed out by the “unable to open” message
.txt: – is also possible. Really, it means, you are a… a… a real oldschool geek.
.odt and .fodt: Documents in OpenDocument text format can be opened or saved, but some formatting characteristics may be lost. If you would like to keep the CV as a Word file, then first save it as a Word document (for example, in .docx format), then afterwards save in OpenDocument-text (.odt) format.