Your resume looks different when you upload it for these three reasons:
1. You’ve uploaded your resume as a Microsoft Word document instead of a PDF or DOCX file.
Your resume formatting changes depending on the software you use to upload it. For instance, employers may use different versions or settings of Microsoft Office than you, so opening a resume saved in Microsoft Word could alter your resume from its original format.
If you used Microsoft Office to create your resume and want to keep your original formatting, save your resume as a .pdf or docx. file to ensure it stays the same no matter who downloads your documents.
2. The company’s applicant tracking system can’t read your resume correctly.
Modern companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan resumes for suitable candidates who used the exact resume keywords from the job posting. However, ATS software may distort your resume if it isn’t in the format the ATS is used to.
So save each resume you write as a:
- Text file
- Microsoft Word document
- PDF file
Then, find out which type of resume format a company prefers by carefully reading the company’s job description and requirements, or by contacting the hiring manager directly.
3. Your resume contains special characters, tables, columns, or artistic formatting.
Creating an ATS friendly resume means using a resume format that’s easy to read.
Like a human, an ATS will read your resume from left to right, and top to bottom. So even if you save your resume as a PDF, ATS software may have trouble reading your resume if it contains uncommon features, like:
- tables and columns
- fancy fonts
- special characters or symbols
Instead, follow these three tips to write a great resume:
1. Use a traditional resume font like Times New Roman, Georgia, or Arial so the ATS (and employers) can easily read your resume.
2. Ensure you download the correct fonts when using a resume template.
3. List your work experience using simple bullet points instead of symbols.