Is there any agreed upon format or standard for job applications and resumes? Because every business wants you to fill out everything from scratch, except for some sites which try (and mostly fail) to read Word or PDF documents.



I do not necessarily mean the file format (which the other thread addresses). But the design/structure of the resume itself, regardless of file format.

  • 2
    It would be cool if there was an XML and DTD for a resume but so far it looks like no.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 21:08
  • 1
    @Paparazzi - Did you just give me a business idea? .... Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 22:40
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    There's the Europass CV (examples here) and while its format has improved since the program's inception it's still not great. It wastes too much space and is mainly intended for people working internationally.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 6:32

1 Answer 1


Absolutely, positively not. This is one of the most frustrating aspects of job hunting.

Unfortunately, there is no standard. And when it comes to reading .DOCX, .PDF, etc resumes, there is always the chance of error. Everyone formats resumes differently, and therefore programs that try to read those documents have issues. Personally, I put my certifications after my name and a lot of websites think my last name is one of these certs.

One bright spot (in my opinion) is that some websites use LinkedIn to fill out resumes, which works rather well. However, this means you have to use LinkedIn, which some people do not want to do for a variety of reasons. However, I find it really convenient, as it has all my jobs, titles, dates, companies, certs, etc.


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