This week at Verify, our consultant Rose Farrell is answering a common candidate question. Professionals can often be wary of sending their CV as a Word Doc after going to the effort of preparing it in PDF format, so we are going to go behind the scenes to understand what happens before your CV reaches the client…

Question:

Why do recruiters always ask for a Word version of my CV?

You know the way it goes – your CV is in PDF format. It’s a secure format, cross-platform. A modern format for a modern world. Then the recruiter says “Can you send that to me in Word?”

Why?

There is a certain logic to asking for it in that format.

1) Often before sending your CV to a client, we need to add a coversheet to the first page. These are often mandated by the client. This coversheet holds info like salary target, notice period, a nice bio about how perfect you are for the job.

2) We really need to fix typos. A high percentage of CV’s have small typos. It’s not a big enough deal to ask the candidate to fix it and most of us don’t like feeling like a teachers giving candidates these corrections to complete.

There are a huge number of technical terms that most spell check dictionaries don’t know. However, I’ve saved JavaScript rather than javascript and MySQL rather than mysql to my copy of Word so it’s easy for me to spot errors and correct them.

3) When we know a client well, we know what an individual hiring manager thinks a CV ought to look like. I’m sure any of you who have spoken to multiple recruitment consultants have heard several versions of how to format a CV. There are differing opinions.

If I know for example that the hiring manager for the role cares about your certifications, I might move those up to the top. If they’re very focused on your work experience and you have your education at the top of your CV – down to the bottom it goes.

With any of my changes, I’m doing what I can to give you the best possible shot at getting an interview. I would never change the wording of a CV and personally I would always tell you before I change anything.

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Rose Farrell is a recruitment consultant with Verify Recruitment. She does not need to ask for your CV in Word format because she knows that the latest edition of Office can convert PDF to Word.

We will be answering questions weekly, so if you have any career or recruitment questions for Rose to answer next week, comment on our page on LinkedIn, tweet @VerifyCommunity or send them over to [email protected]