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I recently had to fill out a job application and I was required to provide a shareable link to my cover letter and resume on Google Drive, which read: "Include your resume/CV (link to a Google Drive Document)."

My issue is, when viewed in Chrome, the text is properly formatted, and looks professional, viewed in Firefox, the text is not properly formatted, and looks like I copied and pasted it without looking it over.

I have no idea what browser they will use to view my resume, and I don't want to them to get the wrong impression.

Is there a professional way to mention in my cover letter that my cover letter and resume are best viewed in Chrome?

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    The real question should be whether a resume that only looks right in one browser is going to seem professional. It won't. – Patricia Shanahan Jul 30 at 19:49
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    Did they say (or strongly imply) that you must use Google Docs specifically, or are you allowed to use, e.g., a PDF file on Google Drive (which would not use Google Docs)? – Curt J. Sampson Jul 31 at 3:30
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    It depends what job you are applying for. If you are a front-end developer then not being able to produce something that looks goo cross-browser will probably not impress – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jul 31 at 6:58
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    PDF stands for Portable Document Format. That's its very purpose, don't hesitate to use it. – m.raynal Jul 31 at 8:05
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    Your cover letter and resume are swimming in a pool with lots of other cover letters - which don't have this limitation. Why handicap yourself this way? – Strawberry Jul 31 at 9:08
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Is there a professional way to mention in my cover letter that my cover letter and resume are best viewed in Chrome?

I would strongly suggest you save your cover letter in PDF format and share that via Google Drive.

That way the format will be preserved, the text will be aligned, etc., regardless of the way they decide to visualize it.

Mentioning that it would be better to view it in Chrome would be odd, and people may wonder why the restriction.

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    @Dan - most word processors can now open a PDF and convert into an editable document. It's probably more likely to work than requiring a conversion between office suites and versions (seeing as you don't know exactly what the recruiter has) – Robin Bennett Aug 2 at 13:58
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viewed in Firefox, the text is not properly formatted, and looks like I copied and pasted it without looking it over.

This means that your file is not properly formatted, probably as a result of copy-and-paste from various sources with different high-level styling that map similarly to fonts in Chome but map differently to fonts in Firefox. This kind of problem is endemic from the way WYSIWYG editors treat copy-and-paste, and short of digging deep into the hidden formatting, the only way to fix it is usually to select the whole block of text/whole document, click "remove formatting" or similar to make it all plain text, then manually add back the formatting you want.

Yes, it looks unprofessional. It looks even more unprofessional if you ask the reader to work around your unprofessional document preparation. Fix it.

For what it's worth, lots of articles published by "reputable" media outlets have the same unprofessional formatting problems in them these days.

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    Didn't test on Gdocs, but on Gmail using with Ctrl+Shift+V will paste the raw text without formatting. It comes handy for these exact situations. – brasofilo Aug 1 at 1:01
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    @brasofilo this is also the case on thunderbird. – Ave Aug 1 at 8:24
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    @brasofilo It's a good tip. I use it practically any time I cut and paste, and I find it works with most programs (or Ctrl+Alt+V if not). – Myles Aug 1 at 14:19
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    If you right click, there is a usually an "paste without formatting" option in most Editors/email clients/etc. – Dan M. Aug 1 at 16:05
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    Copy and paste to notepad and back always works... – Robin Bennett Aug 2 at 14:01
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If the recruiters explicitly demanded that you share your CV as a Google Doc, this suggests that they are accustomed to working with Google Docs and are probably already using the best browser for it. So I wouldn't be too bothered by imperfect Firefox rendering.

You could certainly create a PDF copy and send both links, but if they did mention Google Docs as opposed to Google Drive, this is likely to mean that they would prefer to easily copy and edit your text, which using PDF will make harder.

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    Why would an employer need to edit an application? As for the copying, this is equally possible from PDF as long as there’s a text layer, which is default in the case of exported text documents. – dessert Jul 31 at 6:59
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    @dessert, if it’s a recruitment agency, then chances are that they want to edit the cv before sending it to their clients. At minimum, they’ll want to remove personal contact details (because otherwise they’re giving away their "product"), but I understand they sometimes use a uniform format (header/footer, presumably) for all cvs. And recruitment agents aren’t necessarily great at using different file formats (I’ve seen some adverts requesting "Word" documents and thought "other formats are available"). – Pam Jul 31 at 10:45
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    @Mawg usually it doesn't but, for instance, a numbered list may be exported into PDF just as a text, with all information about the meaning of numbers lost. So if the recruiters would like to convert the information into a table, they'll have a harder time doing this with a PDF. – IMil Jul 31 at 12:41
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    OP Clarified that they said: "Include your resume/CV (link to a Google Drive Document)." ... so they mentioned "Drive" and not "Docs". – DarkCygnus Jul 31 at 19:29
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    If the recruiters explicitly demanded that you share your CV as a Google Doc, this suggests that they are accustomed to working with Google Docs and are probably already using the best browser for it. This makes no sense. Documents and web sites are supposed to work with browsers that support standards. If they don't, it's a bug in the document or web site, not a reason for users to be forced to change browsers or stop using the web site. – Ben Crowell Jul 31 at 20:14
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I wouldn't go so far as to consider this unprofessional, though as an interviewer I might find it slightly odd. The only situation in which I would consider browser compatibility relevant to a resume would be if the material related to web design, which you have suggested is not the case.

As mentioned by others, the safest option is really to export it to a PDF, which would allow you to comply with the request and avoid the formatting issue all together. It would also avoid the situation in which the person reviewing it does not have Chrome on his or her machine and either declines to download it or does so with annoyance.

(I add my own answer here mostly to point out that not all people might react as negatively as the existing answers).

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I like DarkCygnus's answer but I have a different approach to this question.

I think the action of having people visit a public Google Docs would be unprofessional entirely. I think you'd get less calls that way because nobody wants to have to click links - especially in a security standpoint - to view resumes when you can easily just attach it to a email or online application. They'd have the same question I'd have, "Why am I clicking links?"

Why have people follow a link to view something they should be having in their hands?

My thought: share links to your personal website, or github account that's included in the resume/pdf. The company can view it if they please, but in my experience, they won't.

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    I understand what you're saying, but they asked for it, it's part of the application process. They had a field where I could enter it. – user107403 Jul 30 at 18:58
  • Either you click a link, or you click an attachment. An attachment really is just a quick link to whatever you've attached anyway. Also, having a link for your resume is super convenient because you can update it for everywhere you've sent it without having to re-send it. – Seiyria Jul 31 at 4:18
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    In terms of security, there's just as much chance as there being a virus in an attachment as there is in a link. Especially since you can see where the link is pointing to (in this case google drive, which has it's own security scanners) – Aequitas Jul 31 at 5:23
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    It states in the question "I was required to provide a shareable link". So it is not their choice but a requirement of the application. – Thomas Bowen Jul 31 at 7:30
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    @ThomasBowen - You are correct! – user107403 Jul 31 at 14:45

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