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I have applied for jobs through the company's website and/ or sites like Indeed or craigslist jobs. Unfortunately, many times the files(PDF's that are production print quality) are too large due to the fact that they're so graphically intense. What is the best way to handle files that surpass file size limitations in an application interface?

  • Edited to clarify title and make the question align with site standards. Good first question. – Myles Jul 5 '16 at 18:18
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    What kind of files are you attaching that are so large? – Myles Jul 5 '16 at 18:18
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    The files are pdfs and ARE designed to be printed. I'm not sure what others would think about me sending a dropbox link (in fact many companies have policies prohibiting them opening anything in a link of any sort, unfortunately) – Jesse Cohoon Jul 5 '16 at 18:32
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    But do the companies you are applying to need to be printing them? A low res screen version should be sufficient to demonstrate your skill as a designer, etc and you can include a note that full resolution versions are available upon request. – Evan Steinbrenner Jul 5 '16 at 18:38
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    Without a lot more details I can't say for sure but my preferred option would always be to go back to the source program and recreate the PDF using a lower quality pdf preset. Use a web quality instead of print quality preset etc. If that isn't possible you could re-pdf it by printing the PDF to a PDF printer and use a lower quality preset at that point. If the file is still too large then you might need to consider if you need to send the entire file. If it is a 20 page PDF do you really need all 20 pages or is 1 or 2 sufficient to demonstrate your work in that example. – Evan Steinbrenner Jul 5 '16 at 18:51
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My view is that you need to contact them and ask.

Unless you are the first person in this role they have ever hired (in which case they may not be able to judge the big files) they will have some kind of method for submitting these files, either directly (say Dropbox as stated in your question) or via flash drive etc.

If they don't, they aren't expecting files of the size you are trying to send and you should still contact them to understand their requirements (a vital skill in any job anyway).

  • Most companies have a "do not contact" rule in regards to job applications nowadays -- or you simply can't find their contact info (basically the moment you contact them you disqualify yourself from the running). The caveat is to craigslist ads, I could send multiple emails explaining that my samples are of a size that if I don't send them in multiple emails they'll bounce back. – Jesse Cohoon Jul 5 '16 at 18:51
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    Speaking as a candidate and hiring manager, I'll bet you can phone the general number and ask to speak to someone in their recruitment team to advise. The "Do Not Contact" is about not bugging them about you as an applicant, a legitimate question will not get you knocked out (and if it does, you wouldn't want to work there anyway) – The Wandering Dev Manager Jul 5 '16 at 18:56

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