I was considering applying for a job which says

Please do not send a Microsoft Word document or other attachment with your email. If you have your résumé in Word or some other word processor, please paste the contents into a plain text email. If your résumé is online, then please include the URL.

I would prefer to give them a link to my formatted resume over pasting it in a plain-text email, however my resume is currently in Google Drive, and I am not sure if sharing a link to a Google Document would be considered professional or not.

Is it okay to share your resume with a potential employer by giving them the link to a Google Document if they specifically request a link to your Resume instead of an attachment?

I'm not sure if it makes a difference or not, but I believe they are a more laid back company based on the following quote on their careers site:

Applicants should be familiar with either handling a Redeemer in close quarters or proper tactical support operations while assaulting a Titan.


Thanks for the replies so far and I will take them into consideration for this job opening, however I am specifically looking to find out if a Google Document is an appropriate way to share your resume online, such as linking to it from within an email, and would like an answer addressing that specifically.

  • Any reason you cannot just paste the contents in a plain text email? May 30, 2013 at 9:55
  • @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen No real reason other than a bit of extra work. I have some areas where text is aligned right and left on the same line, and some minor formatting separating sections, like horizontal lines. Also, I liked the way it looked formatted much better than non-formatted. But nadyne makes some very good points in her answer about doing what they ask just to get an interview :)
    – Rachel
    May 30, 2013 at 10:55
  • 1
    First thing to consider is what impression you make if you cannot even comply with the simple instructions in the job listing. The half hour you need to create a plain text version of your resume, might be a good investment. May 30, 2013 at 11:09
  • @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen Yes, I had not really noticed at first that a URL wasn't an equally valid option to a text email. When I read that block of instructions again, it suggests a strong preference for a text email.
    – Rachel
    May 30, 2013 at 11:15
  • 3
    FYI, my company employees don't have access to Google Docs, and all internal docs have DRM applied. so cases like this, HR guys will be unable to access ur resume.
    – kmonsoor
    Dec 14, 2013 at 18:54

3 Answers 3


Don't do it.

One reason I can imagine for them not accepting word resumes is that they might have an automated script that parses the contents and tries to do something funny with them like filter candidates and save results in a database. In this case, your google docs link will confuse the heck out of it and lead to poor results (for you).

In regards to the link, my (wild) guess is that they probably have some web crawler doing the work, which again, I would expect to malfunction with google docs.

But these are all guesses.

I suggest you take the path of least resistance and do the simplest thing. Paste your resume as they ask, and if you wish you can provide a link to your google docs version at the bottom or under a separate heading.

  • Agreed, stick to the spec there is a reason they want it in that format
    – user5305
    May 29, 2013 at 15:06
  • Agree. Even if they manually select the link to your google drive, what if they still can't get to your google drive? Your application will be dropped. May 29, 2013 at 15:29
  • I appreciate your answer, however do you have any specific advice for if a Google Document URL is appropriate or not for sharing an online resume? I plan on taking your advice in this case, but would like to know specifically about the Google Doc for the future.
    – Rachel
    Jun 2, 2013 at 18:44
  • I doubt you'll find specific evidence, this is a case where you assume the worst - that they have some crappy in-house script - and you play it safe by posting a plain text e-mail and make sure it has all the job requirements listed on your resume exactly the same way they are in the job posting.
    – DKnight
    Jun 3, 2013 at 4:29

While I understand your desire to not lose the formatting that you've worked hard to get right in your resume, your desire to get a job is probably higher than keeping your resume's formatting.

They've asked you to do something. Go do it. In fact, go make a text-only copy of your resume right now, and spend a little bit of time on getting the text-only formatting into something that's at least readable. This will not be the last potential employer who asks for a text copy of your resume, so you'll save yourself time and frustration in the future by having it ready to go.

This request is possibly about getting your resume into their database, which can then be searched in the future for other positions. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to find you in their database, after all. Even if this isn't their reason, I'm not sure why you would want to ignore their explicit directions. Ignoring directions, especially when the directions are so very simple, doesn't reflect well on a candidate.

If you get to talk to someone, as opposed to simply applying online along with who-knows-how-many-others, you'll likely have the opportunity to share your properly-formatted resume with them at that time. But for now, you've got to actually get to the point where you can talk to someone, and they've told you what you need to do.

  • I appreciate your answer, however do you have any specific advice for if a Google Document URL is appropriate or not for sharing an online resume? I plan on taking advice given so far and sending it as a plain text in an email, but would like to know specifically about if a Google Doc is appropriate for an online resume for the future.
    – Rachel
    Jun 2, 2013 at 18:45
  • 3
    I would not use a Google Doc URL for an online resume. Some companies block access to GD to ensure that their own employees aren't sharing confidential information in a location that doesn't meet that company's security requirements. Leaving that aside, GD URLs are generally long, which introduces the potential for error, such as the URL getting cut off, the URL being copied/pasted incorrectly, etc. I wouldn't call the use of GD "unprofessional" or "inappropriate", but as a candidate, I wouldn't do it because there's risk that an inadvertent error would result in me not being considered.
    – nadyne
    Jun 2, 2013 at 23:59
  • @nadyne - Your URL length issue can easily be remedied with a URL shortener. Google's own goo.gl service even has basic analytics, so you can see how many people are clicking on the link you share with them.
    – Shauna
    Jun 3, 2013 at 21:05
  • I would not use a URL shortener for my resume. URL shorteners are quite useful in many contexts. However, they can also mask content that I wouldn't click on. There's a fair amount of spam/phishing/malware/etc that use URL shorteners, and I've received ones that are ostensibly job-related (both for me as a hiring manager and for me as a candidate). So far, they've been obviously fake. That said, I personally would not risk someone in HR or a hiring manager deciding that anything behind a URL shortener was not something that they would click on.
    – nadyne
    Jun 3, 2013 at 23:59

If they want a text-only version, and you want to provide a formatted version, I would suggest to provide the text-only version prefaced by "Note: A formatted version of this resume is available at [URL]".

If you have your own domain with a professional web site on it, that URL should point to a page on said domain. There, you could either host a PDF version of your resume, or redirect to the Google doc, depending on your personal preference (I would go with PDF).

If you don't have your own domain, the Google URL shortener goo.gl seems like a good idea.

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