By: The Let’s Eat, Grandma Writing Team

Perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions in regards to job applications and ATS software is whether or not to submit your resume as a PDF or Word Document.

Part of the problem with this question is that it doesn’t address the context of how the resume is submitted. Each resume submission should be tailored toward the audience, so it’s important to make this decision on a case-by-case basis.

The verdict: It depends.

Rather than give you this wishy-washy answer, we have created a one-minute FAQ video on the topic. By the end of this video, you should be able to make the “PDF vs. Word Document” decision based on your particular situation.

Here is the Spark Notes version of the video (for your memory and if you don’t like watching videos on Youtube):

  • Word Documents are better for ATS Systems. ATS systems are better able to pick up on keywords if they are submitted as a Word Document.
  • PDF documents are better for visual consistency. PDFs are image files (naturally) – and therefore cannot be easily altered.
  • Recruiters tend to prefer Word Documents over other formats. Recruiters will generally prefer Word Documents, so don’t you dare send your RTF file!
  • Don’t forget to follow the instructions. Remember that if there are instructions to send in a specific format, follow those instructions. Being a rebel does not look good – nor does being ignorant.

We hope that you were able to make a decision based on the details we’ve given. If you are still wondering more, please feel free to write us a message at

Until next time!

-The Team at Let’s Eat, Grandma

A banner advertising Let's Eat, Grandma's resume services.