Useful Tip: Realized that my CV should be in a doc, not in illustrator or indesign. It's converted to text by most softwares

Hi, just sharing a tip I've learnt recently, although I should have probably thought of it myself much earlier. I was exporting my resume from InDesign so far. To pdfs and I was locking all editing capabilities with a password. Now I think, ok this is useful, but not for companies that filter cvs through some kind of hr software. Softwares convert my pdfs to text. I reckon it was usually gibberish coming out on the other side. All mangled together with my core skills, dates, about me section plus some unreadable signs.


  • Hi everyone that liked / commented on this question and will still see my update. Asked chat gpt about formatting. Here's what I've got:

    When exporting your CV from a document format (e.g., .doc or .docx) to a PDF format, there are a few considerations to keep in mind to ensure compatibility and readability, especially when submitting your CV through HR software or online platforms. Here are some tips:

    1. **Fonts and Formatting:**
    - Use standard fonts (e.g., Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri) to avoid potential issues with font compatibility. If you've used custom fonts in your document, consider converting them to standard fonts before exporting to PDF.
    - Ensure consistent formatting throughout your CV. Make sure headings, text sizes, and styles are uniform to maintain readability.

    2. **File Size:**
    - Optimize the file size of your PDF to ensure it's not too large. Large file sizes can sometimes cause issues with uploading or downloading. You can use PDF compression tools or settings during export to reduce the file size while maintaining quality.

    3. **Hyperlinks:**
    - If your CV contains hyperlinks (e.g., to your portfolio website or LinkedIn profile), make sure they are clickable in the PDF format. Check the PDF settings to preserve hyperlinks during export.

    4. **Metadata and Security:**
    - Review the metadata of the PDF file to ensure it's properly updated with your information. Remove any unnecessary metadata or personal information that you don't want to share.
    - Consider setting document security options if needed, such as password protection or restricting printing or editing permissions. However, be cautious with security settings, as overly restrictive settings may hinder accessibility.

    5. **Compatibility and Version:**
    - Ensure that the PDF format you export is compatible with most common PDF readers and versions. Avoid using advanced features or settings that might not be supported by older PDF readers.
    - Save the PDF file in a widely compatible version (e.g., PDF 1.4 or PDF/A) to ensure broad accessibility.

    6. **Proofreading:**
    - Before finalizing the export, carefully proofread the PDF version of your CV to ensure there are no formatting errors, text truncations, or other issues introduced during the conversion process.

    By paying attention to these considerations and adjusting the export settings accordingly, you can create a PDF version of your CV that is compatible with HR software and ensures your information is accurately presented and accessible.
  • @Shane Harry Nothing specific. I'm just going to have a block of text in a doc, no columns. And convert than into a pdf. And probably use the forms the company uses to add a link to my portfolio. This is something I will only do for companies that use softwares. If I'm sending my resume via email - that's a sign for me that a person will read it. But maybe I'm wrong.
  • @Inga Kamińska Hello. This is interesting. I too always have my CV as a PDF locked (for editing) exported from Indesign for a million reasons which a .doc cant do. Plus what a better way to present your CV to a potential client in an application which the design industry uses.
    Most recruiters except a PDF, I assumed because they can use it, but I never thought of any using a cvs filter, this more than likely wouldn't end well.
    Have you got any more information on your cvs findings or what software these are because now I'm wondering if that's why I don't hear back from some recruiters. 😅

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