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Recruitment agencies asking for resume in word format.

I have come across cases where some recruitment agencies insist on sending resume in word format.
Is it normal or should be look down upon with suspicion?
 

mfegrad

CMU MSCF Alum
two thoughts:

a) word is pretty much everywhere, so it's guaranteed to be read by their computers.
b) ...but so is pdf. and there've been stories about some unscrupulous headhunters taking resumes, changing them a bit, and using them for others.

i'd probably err on the side of b and give them a pdf (although even those are able to be reverse-engineered at this point).
 
All of the recruitment agencies I have worked with, want resumes in Word format (as opposed to pdf for example) so that it's editable. Some reasons might be so that they can put their firm's letterhead and/or do some basic anonymization when they present somebody for the first time to an employer to see if there could be a potential interest.
 
My experience has been limited and in the past i have only sent pdf.It seems the choice isn't really mine provided i don't really care how and in what ways my resume is used by the recruitment agency.
 
I have encountered this same dilemma a few years ago when a recruiter asked for my Doc resume. What he did was to remove the top part where my contact info is list with that of his firm and send out PDF to a client. I saw this when I saw a print out of my resume when I went to the interview at client's site. So there is a genuine reason for recruiters to ask for Doc.
I only gave him the Doc because he was referred to by one of my friends who got a job through him. In general, I won't give it to anyone online without recommendation from my trusted friends.
 
I have encountered this same dilemma a few years ago when a recruiter asked for my Doc resume. What he did was to remove the top part where my contact info is list with that of his firm and send out PDF to a client. I saw this when I saw a print out of my resume when I went to the interview at client's site. So there is a genuine reason for recruiters to ask for Doc.
I only gave him the Doc because he was referred to by one of my friends who got a job through him. In general, I won't give it to anyone online without recommendation from my trusted friends.

basically just seconding Andy's response - i had the exact same experience.. this is why they want it in Word, don't be afraid, it's very standard
 
The possibility of a recruiter modifying my resume without my knowledge in some weird fashion or without prior agreement with me hadn't occurred to me, thus pdf vs doc was the least of my worries.
I don't see what the purpose of this might be.
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
If I could get all CVs in the modern version of Word format (>= Office 12) it would make quite a lot of tasks easier and faster.
But I can't, and since there are several Word formats and several PDF extra work has to happen anyway.
Some automated CV parsers have problems with PDFs (others can't do Word well) so that may be an issue.

However Andy and financeguy are right, PDF doesn't really protect you from anything and there are entirely legit reasons for wanting Word. As a recruiter I am concerned about firms like Resource Solutions who are part of a recruiter called Robert Walters and do "outsourced HR" for Morgan Stanley and Deutsche, and so there is inevitably data "leakage", thus we use something I developed that does undocumented things to PDF files that allows tracking, so all CVs we send to banks are in PDF regardless of the format we get them in.
However, we're really quite tough on not changing the body text of CVs because back when I had a real job, I saw how terrible that can be.

Some recruiters do you the favour of getting rid of horrible formatting or spelling errors some of which I enumerate at TheRegister.com but of course they may get it wrong...

One thing I'd add is please don't put (C) or other copyright bullshit on your CV. It just makes you look awkward to work with and gives no actual protection at all.

In our jurisdiction recruiters are legally forbidden from charging candidates fees and rather than say "don't trust any recruiter but me", I counsel you to think of giving your CV as like giving your credit card details and apply the same smell test since if a recruiter wants to abuse your details he can.
 
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