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I have sent several applications over these months for different companies and contractors. Usually I sent the resume in PDF format.

I'm curious and at some point also a little bit upset when recruiters request my resume in doc format. If a change is needed I can do it myself and send it back. But to send the resume in doc format I felt at some point like weak/vulnerable. Is there really a foundation in such feelings or is just my mad brain thinking to much on it?

My point is they can be submitting my information as signed by me but modified by someone else. And finally sounds like you are not being treated directly by the person interested. Sounds like there's a chain of contractors before You arrive to the direct client. And that's a terrible deal.

The recruiters that I have asked said me is a requirement for the submission.

I would try to avoid this practice , I think next time someone request my resume.doc I will think it twice before submit.

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  • Word is bit more standard - most candidates wont have professional PDF creation / Preflight tools Jun 22, 2020 at 22:52
  • Microsoft Word generates PDF from it's own documents without any trouble for as long as I've known it.
    – mishan
    Jun 24, 2020 at 16:36

5 Answers 5

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Recruiters will remove your contact info (not name) from the top and put their own. This removing the ability for the company to circumvent them and paying them their headhunting fee.

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A friend just had a recruiter add skills he lacked

I have a contractor friend who is looking for his next position and just spoke with a recruiter a week ago for an interview yesterday.

The recruiter added skills he did not have to get the resume past screening and my friend got blindsided in the interview. They added all sorts of DevOps stuff that he did not know.

It’s the first time that he knows of it happening, but it does happen.

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  • That definitely sucks, there should be a law or something to avoid the misuse of our professional data
    – mario ruiz
    Jun 20, 2020 at 2:32
  • I hope your friend tore them a new one and withdrew his resume from being submitted anywhere else with this recruiter! Jun 20, 2020 at 19:58
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I have sent several applications over these months for different companies and contractors. Usually I sent the resume in PDF format.

I'm curious and at some point also a little bit upset when recruiters request my resume in doc format. If a change is needed I can do it myself and send it back. But to send the resume in doc format I felt at some point like weak/vulnerable. Is there really a foundation in such feelings or is just my mad brain thinking to much on it?

Getting a resume in .doc format probably makes things a bit easier for a recruiter.

Likely, your information goes into their database and can be more automatically inputted in .doc format. Additionally, many recruiters remove your contact information so that clients will not try to bypass them. Finally, some recruiters will modify/fix your resume to clean up any typos or poor wording.

Note that PDF format (or any format for that matter) won't stop any of this from happening. PDFs can be scanned and reconstituted as .doc files easily. Even a piece of paper can easily be turned into a .doc file if desired. Providing the .doc file initially, just makes their life easier, it doesn't add any weakness/vulnerability to your situation at all.

Whenever I work with an agency or recruiter, I'm happy to help them out when I can. However I always insist that I see any and all resumes sent to a company on my behalf be sent to me first for my approval. My resume represents me, and my professional image. I'm okay with them removing my contact information. I'm not okay with them making changes that I wouldn't otherwise make. If they would balk at my requirements, I stop working with them.

If for some reason you still prefer not to provide your resume in the format they choose for any reason, then just decline to work with them and move on to other job openings. There are plenty of other recruiters and jobs.

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Why recruiters ask a resume in doc format?

Because they are either lazy, incompetent or manipulative.

Is there really a foundation in such feelings or is just my mad brain thinking to much on it?

Your feelings are entirely correct. There is no good reason to not accept a PDF resume. You can certainly edit the heck out of a PDF as well, but it's more work and requires a minimum level of skill & effort. The small group of unethical recruiters are unlikely to do that.

The recruiters that I have asked said me is a requirement for the submission.

That's a non-nonsensical and evasive answer. If there is an actual reason why a PDF isn't good enough, the recruiter should be able to articulate what that reason actually is.

I would try to avoid this practice , I think next time someone request my resume.doc I will think it twice before submit.

Yes. A recruiter/company that doesn't accept a PDF resume without a really good reason are a waste of time and potentially harmful

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  • 1
    I don't think this type of language, like calling another human beings "bottom feeders" is called for.
    – Aida Paul
    Jun 20, 2020 at 6:54
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    -1 for "bottom feeders".
    – guest
    Jun 20, 2020 at 10:33
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    Having dealt with a really nasty & useless recruitment agency, I think "bottom feeders" is relevant.
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 20, 2020 at 11:39
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    @TymoteuszPaul the original text is to point out that there is a small section of the recruitment profession that don't hold the same high standards that some recruitment agencies do. The way it has been written makes that clear.
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 20, 2020 at 12:11
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    @TymoteuszPaul where has the whole profession been targeted or is that just your "understanding"?
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 20, 2020 at 12:18
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Some companies request a doc format because it’s a requirement for whatever software they’re using to scan the resumes. Or they may even just be using the review tools in Word itself when evaluating resumes.

Now, I did work with a 3rd party recruiter once (he didn’t work for the organization I was applying to) who did want to make changes to my resume before submitting it to them. (Their formatting was bad enough that I had to explain the recruiter insisted on it in the interview.) But I’ve only had that happen once.

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