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  • Most Commonly Used Resume Formats

    Over the years, the recruiting protocols have changed due to constant advancement in technology. This has created a need for many resume formats and their methods of delivery. Here are some of the most commonly used resume formats.

    1. ASCII or Text Resume
    2. Formatted Resume
    3. Portable Document Format (PDF) Resume
    4. Posted Resume
    5. Web Resume
    6. Web Portfolio

    ASCII or Text Resume

    This is the simplest form of online resumes. All the formatting is stripped off so it is compatible with all systems. This resume format is most commonly used when posting resumes on online job boards or sending resumes by email. All you have to do is copy and paste it to the email messages. You have to make sure you format your resume in ASCII text before sending it. To do that just copy your resume into the text editor like Not Pad and format it. You can also save it as a text file from your word processor and the format it in the text editor. What you don’t want to do is just copy your resume from your word processor and paste it into your email message or eforms to submit.


    • Best resume format to submit electronically
    • Saves time as you don’t have to print, scan, photocopy or mail the traditional resume.
    • Employer can one and access it quickly
    • Highly compatible with all the applications so no compatibility issue


    • You have no control over the look and feel of the resume as there is no formatting
    • Looks inferior to the formatted resume as it is very plain to look at and maybe not as easy to read
    • The appearance degrades when the recipients forward it to multiple destinations
    • No capability to include graphics or images

    Formatted Resume

    This is the resume format that you create in a word processor like MS Word and send it out as an attachment. This resume is well formatted with indentations, bold or italicized text, columns and graphics. These types of resumes are more likely to carry viruses and could become a liability but employers still prefer them because of the convenience and accessibility.


      • Retains formatting so it is pleasing to look and easy to read
      • You has a full control of the look and feel of the document
      • Looks very similar to the traditional paper resume format
      • Can easily be forwarded to multiple recipients with out loosing the formatting


      • Prone to virus attacks so some recipients might not even open hence compromising your visibility
      • There might be an incompatibility issue because of the different file formats
      • More work for the recipients as they have to open, download, and print
      • Formatting can be compromised depending on what systems the recipient is using

    Portable Document Format (PDF) Resume

    This resume writing format is very popular. It can only be created with an add on from Adobe Corporations. This format creates a snapshot of your resume and is highly compatible with all systems. This resume format can be emailed, posted on the web, printed, searched and viewed as long as you have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your computer.


      • Works with all the systems
      • It is a digital image of the traditional resume so all the formatting is retained
      • Increase reader accessibility and increases legibility
      • No risk of viruses
      • Can not be altered so you have the complete control over the appearance and feel of the resume


      • More work for the recipient as they would have to open, view, or print
      • Recipients need to have the Adobe add on to view the resume
      • You would have to have the PDF writer software or you might have to pay someone to convert the resume into the PDF file.
      • Not all recipients will be familiar with PDF

    Posted Resume

    Just like the name, posted resumes are posted on the job sites like dice.com or monster.com. These resumes are stored in the database of these job sites and you are provided with the user name and a password to access it. Posted resume is text only.


      • Posted resume is posted on job sites so it makes you visible to a larger recruiting community
      • By the help of keywords your resume can easily be discovered
      • You get exposed to other career opportunities you might not have considered before
      • Your resume stays in the database foe long period of time giving you extended exposure


      • Your resume could still be online even after you found your dream job
      • Some paid job sites limit access only to their employees and the subscribers
      • Posted resumes are text only so they are plain and difficult to read.
      • Some site mandate predefined formats so you have no control over the appearance of your resume
      • If you are conducting a private job search it might not be as private as you hoped

    Rich Text Format (RTF) Resume

    Rich Text Format resumes are very similar to the ASCII format resumes. However, they are formatted with codes to enable you to see bold, italic and indentations. In other words it allows you to use the visual tools to make it more appealing and captivating.


      • No threats of virus as it is text only
      • Easy to read
      • No compatibility issue
      • Better presentation with the formatting


      • You have to send it as an attachment so threat of virus is there
      • Not all recipients will be familiar to RTF
      • Additional work for the recipient

    Web Resumes

    Web resumes are created on the single web page. They have their on web address and all the content is within this page. different content can be accessed by navigating through the hyperlinks. Web resume is more robust because you can include all the supporting documents like references, degrees, certificates and so on. It is exactly like a web page that has all the content from your resume and maybe more


      • Unlimited access from anywhere
      • no compatibility issue
      • You can include more documents than the traditional resume
      • Capacity for incorporating audios, videos, links
      • Full control of the appearance and freedom to be creative
      • No need for photocopy, email, fax or mail


      • Web resumes can not be accessed with out an internet access
      • Bad design will impart a poor impression to the recipients
      • Your URL could be overly complicated depending on what kind of service you used to build your web resume
      • Different browsers can display your resume differently so the appearance might be compromised

    Web Portfolio

    Web Portfolio is built on a web page with its own web address. It provides an avenue to showcase your credentials and achievements in a visually captivating manner. It could be compared with a small commercial web site. It has everything a properly running website should have.


      • It proves that you are technically savvy
      • You can have unlimited content
      • You can easily modify to make it look any way you like
      • No virus
      • Capacity for powerful graphic presentation
      • Constantly evolving
      • Gives employers bigger picture about you than just the words


      • Some cost might be involved
      • Need to have a web development knowledge or pay to get it done
      • Can only be accessed through the internet


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