Several years back, when I finished my undergraduate college degree, it was pretty standard to use Microsoft Word to create a resume. I had then kept one job for many years without having to switch, and then landed up in grad school. So, I feel a bit out of touch, as I try to re-enter the job market; I haven't sent out a resume or interviewed with anyone in a long time.

My question is:

Is it ok to use Google Docs to create a resume? Or is it considered "unprofessional", and that I should really stick with Microsoft Word?

The industries that I am considering are finance, tech, and consulting.

  • 3
    Microsoft is not any more 'professional' than Google. Whatever you use, the reader should have maximum information with minimum effort.
    – PagMax
    Feb 7, 2018 at 6:58
  • 3
    This is closely related and possibly even a duplicate of What digital format to send resume/cover letter in?. What tool you use is irrelevant: it's the product that matters. Presumably Google Docs is sufficiently advanced now that it can create Word files that don't look hideous when opened in Word.
    – Lilienthal
    Feb 7, 2018 at 7:49
  • 6
    Possible duplicate of What digital format to send resume/cover letter in? Feb 7, 2018 at 15:39
  • 1
    This might not be an exact duplicate of What digital format to send resume/cover letter in?, but I think the parts that aren't duplicated there (whether and how to create different format files using different tools as well as what differences there might be between files of the same format created using different tools) has less to do with the workplace and more to do with computing in general. Feb 7, 2018 at 15:42
  • Why can't you just save it as a Microsoft Word .doc? Is that too complicated or something? I know it has that option. Feb 7, 2018 at 19:26

3 Answers 3


Use PDF. It is an accepted standard, everyone can open it and it looks the same everywhere.

You can use whatever you want as editor and when satisfied with the look, just print/export as pdf.

  • 12
    PDFs also don't put little squiggly lines under your typos to make them obvious. Feb 7, 2018 at 13:35
  • @IllusiveBrian: lol! Gets even better when you get an English application into a German Word-installation ....
    – Daniel
    Feb 7, 2018 at 13:42
  • Also some document formats are filtered out of e-mails for being a thread to security ...
    – Daniel
    Feb 7, 2018 at 13:43
  • @Daniel oh the pain when it changes your language while writing, because you're using english terms in programming in a german text. Word can barely get more confused.
    – Mafii
    Feb 7, 2018 at 13:57
  • @IllusiveBrian Use Google Docs and export to PDF. You then still get the benefit of spellchecking.
    – fubar
    Dec 17, 2019 at 23:43

Whoever will handle your resume will only care of one thing: can he/she open the file to read it?

As long as you send your resume in a format that is well known you should not really be worried about the editor you use.

Also note that most online forms for applications allow you to attach a variety of file formats, among which .pdf is always present.

Things might be a little different for a limited set of positions (i.e. Apple is known for "convincing" their employee to use only and always Apple devices, so I am not sure how a Word file would be perceived there).

  • 3
    Just to add on the Apple comment: some (recruitment) companies require Word docs, cause they want to edit out names or place their own logo in it. If you want to do business with these guys, be sure to give them something they can edit.
    – Caroline
    Feb 7, 2018 at 9:48
  • 2
    @Caroline, that's correct, but usually (at least in my experience, as I usually send out a pdf) they ask for an editable version in such cases.
    – L.Dutch
    Feb 7, 2018 at 10:01

The main problem with google Docs is that it sends a link which must be clicked to open your resume, or download and save it. This hustle may result the employer to not even bother to open your resume since they will be dealing with a multiple applications

  • 2
    This is not really true, and the hint is in your own own words. Download as PDF, save, attach. Dec 17, 2019 at 19:53
  • Ultimately, Google Docs is both a creation tool and a storage/distribution method. But you can definitely use Docs to create, and then export and email as with any other document format. Doing so avoids this issue.
    – dwizum
    Dec 17, 2019 at 19:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .