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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.

  • 1
    Microsoft is not any more 'professional' than Google. Whatever you use, the reader should have maximum information with minimum effort. – PagMax Feb 7 '18 at 6:58
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    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 '18 at 7:49
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    Possible duplicate of What digital format to send resume/cover letter in? – Dukeling Feb 7 '18 at 15:39
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    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. – Dukeling Feb 7 '18 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. – LateralTerminal Feb 7 '18 at 19:26
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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.

  • 9
    PDFs also don't put little squiggly lines under your typos to make them obvious. – IllusiveBrian Feb 7 '18 at 13:35
  • @IllusiveBrian: lol! Gets even better when you get an English application into a German Word-installation .... – Daniel Feb 7 '18 at 13:42
  • Also some document formats are filtered out of e-mails for being a thread to security ... – Daniel Feb 7 '18 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 '18 at 13:57
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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 '18 at 9:48
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    @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 - Reinstate Monica Feb 7 '18 at 10:01

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