I can’t quite figure this out, but I’ve been applying to several jobs online and a few request that my resume be sent as a Word document.
I replied to a job that otherwise seemed legit and attached a PDF of my resume. Someone responded saying that they’d like me to resend it as a Word doc. I can’t figure out 1. What kind of business doesn’t have he capability of viewing a .pdf and 2. What’s the purpose of the Word doc unless they plan on manipulating the document in some way. I can imagine wanting to type notes on it, but I’ve been on a few interviews where they print it out and make physical notes on it.
I did a google search for job scams and Word documents, but couldn’t find anything. I’d like to get the job, but at the same time, I don’t need more junk mail!
I haven’t resent the resume yet…unless I feel comfortable that it’s not some kind of bunk.
I don’t think it’s a scam, it’s just HR departments being technically incompetent/lazy or existing IT infrastructure being out of date. Most of the times I was asked to submit a resume in a particular format, they wanted plain text so they could run scripts on it and mine for certain keywords without bothering to read it. I’d guess that the business in question long ago had some Word macros developed for the same sort of thing and hasn’t bothered to update it.
WAG - I’m not in HR or an employer, and I don’t know what kind of job, what field of work and what kind of businesses you have applied to - but I would guess that a larger portion of HR people than you think are barely computer-literate. Their PC might well be capable of displaying a pdf file, but if the user doesn’t know what it is because they only handle word docs all day long, they might not be able to cope (obviously, it makes a difference here whether you applied for an IT job at MS or for a normal office job at a 50- people company).
(I know that several years back they did a survey of how well or badly companies reacted to Emails sent by job applicants - and 25% never answered! Those that did, about a third or more took over three days to even acknowledge that they had received the email. I was quite stunned by this - from companies who put up a webpage with online application site, I expected the ability to handle at least the basics.)
Second WAG: by asking all applicants to send their attachments in the same format, they can see what applicants: can follow instructions; can avoid viruses or complications that come with different formats*, and how much the applicants understand about different data formats.
I know how frustrating it was to tell customers clearly in the brochure that the text had to come in two PC formats, pictures in three, and we still got at least half of the data in Mac formats, so we had to to go to the layout guys and ask them to convert it to PC formats - unneccessary bother and waste of time for us.
But how would sending a doc instead of pdf change that? You already gave them your email anyway, so if they want to sell it…
And you don’t have any guarantee that the company handles the data securly - the big consulting company of (damn, I forgot which of the 2 or 3 big ones it was KPMG?) was just last week or so involved in a big scandal. Turned out that they’d set up a website for people, a lot of them students, to apply, and had never deleted the data after it was years old (very sensitive information, of course - their defense was that they meant for the users to collect their resume data on this site and polish and store it to send it off for other applications) - and hadn’t taken the basic precaution of storing the passwords to access the site for the users encrypted, but as plain text!!! And then, when hackers found this treasure-trove of unprotected passwords together with email adresses (and enough uneducated computer-users had used the same password on that site as for ebay and other sensitive sites!), the consulting company didn’t warn the users, didn’t build up new protections, they just ignored it.
Then when the shitstorm broke loose, their defence was that they weren’t legally obliged to go beyond normal computer security and you know actually encrypt sensitive stuff. (The Federal Ministry for Safety of Information told them they were wrong).
Of course, there’s still the normal way many old-fashioned businesses handle old applications: instead of shreddering them as a sensible person would expect them to (and sending back costs too much postage, accepted), they just dump hundreds of pages of sensitive information into the next dumpster where everybody can access it. So, no worries mate - you’re screwed up no matter how you send your stuff.
Resumes are scanned for keywords by a text search program as an initial screening measure. Most scanners work on Word, text, and Wordperfect formats; PDF files can’t be scanned because they’re more akin to JPEGs than text.
Requiring a resume in Word format is pretty standard these days, in my recent experience. It’s really just a matter of convenience for the hiring company, which has every right to disqualify any candidate who can’t follow a simple rule, to use a format that they already know how to use, and know it will work fine being sent around in their e-mail system, etc.
Also, there is a good chance you are sending your resume to a headhunter, who very likely may make some modifications to your resume before submitting it to the actual company. If that turns out to be the case, make sure to ask the headhunter for a copy of the submitted resume before attending an interview, just to avoid any embarrassing surprises.
Word is still the default document format for most businesses. Acrobat is the second most common but far fewer HR departments would have Acrobat then Word and if they keep all their docs in Word, they like consistency.
Acrobat Reader is nearly universal, Acrobat itself is not. Word is in 90-95% of businesses that are large enough to have an HR department.
It is a reasonable request and the talks of lazy is unwarranted.
While it is true that PDF files can store pages that have been scanned-in from an image-scanner and are now images, it is untrue that all PDF files are like this. Any PDF that has been printed from a word processing program to a PDF printer or similar program will contain the original text and can be “scanned” by software designed to do so. deskPDF is just one non-Adobe program that will print to PDF format.
Here is software that will extract text from a PDF file and store it in text file.
I have written software that will extract text from a PDF, index it and allow for quick searches or “scans”.