CV Formatting Problems

Each day, thousands of people email recruiters with their CV attached in a Microsoft Word, (or similar file). But a high percentage of these candidates could be wasting their time due to simple formatting issues.

Sometimes, when you email a document from one computer to another, you’ll find that text / images do not display in the same way they did on your PC. This could be due to a number of reasons, but most commonly, that the person you’re sending the document to has a different version of the software you’re using…or even a completely different type of software altogether.

Most people use the standard .doc (Microsoft Word) file. If you don’t use Microsoft Word, you may find your CV is in a different format, such as .WPD (Word Perfect). If this is the case, check with the recipient that they will be able to read the file properly.

To prevent any problems, consider saving your CV in Adobe PDF format. This way, the CV will retain all formatting when emailed.

When uploading your CV to online job sites, you’re best to stick to ASCII plain text format. This does exactly what it says on tin – your CV will be converted to purely text. Sometimes, using .Doc, (or similar) files for online job searches causes numerous formatting problems. For example, bullet points are often displayed with strange symbols and can create large spaces throughout your CV.

How do I create a plain text CV?

  • Open your CV
  • Click on “File”, then “Save As”
  • A “Save As” box will pop up
  • At the bottom, next to “Save as type”, scroll down to “Plain Text”

How do I create an Adobe PDF CV? (You’ll need the appropriate software for this)

  • Open your CV
  • Select “File”, then “Print”
  • In “Printer Name”, select “Adobe PDF”
  • A popup box will display asking where you’d like to save the file
  • Select “Save”

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


Phone: (01904) 902 102


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