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PDF Resume Templates to Download in 2024 (+ Format Tips)

Create Your Resume Now

Our customers have been hired by:

You, too, are struggling with figuring out what file format is the best for submitting your job application. But you’re leaning towards a resume in PDF. 

Now, find 18 PDF resume templates, and we’ll tell you what to focus on while creating one from scratch. You can be sure that a hiring manager will read it.

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

Create your resume now

Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.

After reviewing 11 million resumes created with our builder, we’ve collected valuable insights from users spanning different industries and levels of experience. Here are the top takeaways to help you design a more effective resume:

Data-Backed Insights From Actual Resumes

  • 57.84% of resumes made with our builder are over 300 words, 28.23% are between 101 and 300 words, and 5.35% are under 100 words.
  • 3.59% of our users have no work experience, while 28.86% report having less than 3 years of experience.
  • Resumes typically list an average of 12.56 skills.
  • On average, resumes include 2.61 previous jobs.

Are you looking for resume templates? See:

Resume Templates to Download in PDF

Before you jump to the main part, let’s tackle the ultimate question first, which is: PDF resume or Word?

The answer is if the job description or online application gives you specific instructions, follow them. That’s all you have to do. 

If you are sending your resume directly to a human being or there are no specific instructions, consider saving your documents in multiple formats (PDF, .doc, .docx) so that you can pick and choose which to send depending on the following situations:

  • Go for a PDF if it’s unspecified and nobody asks for a particular resume file format.
  • Attach a Word document when a recruiter asks specifically for it.

Pro Tip: Some companies can receive up to 250 resumes on average in response to a single job opening. The Applicant Tracking System is the software that helps companies scan job applications and look for relevant information by tracking keywords. If you pass, your ATS-friendly resume will land on your recruiter’s desk. 


Did you know that you can build a resume in our builder and download a resume PDF without any fuss? Heck yes, you can. See a selection of our PDF resume templates:


The best there is. Classic yet professional. Simple yet powerful. That’s our Cascade. It’s one of the most often picked resume templates, which should already tell you something. It has everything you need in a resume and presents you in the best way possible.


Can you imagine a better one? I can’t. The details, such as round resume icons, initial background, and skills rating, add unquestionable uniqueness to the Primo template. It’s ideal for professionals and those who are only now embarking on their careers. 


Do you want something simple and stand-out? That’s Cubic’s cue. Go for it if you’re not a fan of an intricate design. The resume template will provide the space and formatting necessary to impress the recruiters.


Finally, the Modern resume template! With this one, you’ll overshadow your competition. There’s a perfect amount of whitespace for the recruiter to rest their eyes on, but at the same time, you still have enough room for your accomplishments. And, of course, see how the resume headline pops!


Like Cap’n Crunch, the Crisp resume template delights you with a tasteful finish. You can pepper your professional achievements all over the resume without overwhelming your recruiter. Plus! Thanks to the skill rating design, you’ll be sure to get the call. Complete the template and download it as your resume in PDF.


Making a two-page resume? The concept should be your go-to template. With the timeline, you’ll show your potential employers the progression you’ve made over the years, and the icons will help you save precious space.


The diamond among our templates. Just look how your name and business title could stand out. Pick the Diamond template and write all your accomplishments in a single column. Your recruiter will be sure not to miss them.


Cascade’s sister! Enfold is a two-column resume template with a twist on our most popular template. Notice how changing the placement of the sidebar affects the focus point. Now it’s all about your resume summary and experience.


The Iconic template should be yours if you’re a fan of smart communication. Icons improve the aesthetics of your resume, plus they help you convey the message a lot quicker. Your recruiter will find what they’re looking for in a snap.


Influx is a mix of modern and elegant. The solid-looking header and a clean one-column design will do your professional achievements justice. You have just enough room to power up your content with the right amount of white space around.


Dress to impress! Initials know how to wear color and highlight your strengths because of it. So take your chances with this creative template, fill it in, and download it as your PDF resume. You won’t regret it!


Minimo uses just a dash of color that adds a sleek finish. It looks professional and fuss-free. Just as you need your PDF resume to look like. You won’t have to worry about graphics or complex formatting. Minimo is just perfect for recruiters and the ATS.


If you want to stand out with your resume, Muse is your chance. The colored ribbons add a nice touch, and a skill rating scale will draw your recruiter’s eyes to how capable you are.


Not everything requires fanfares and fireworks to attract attention. Nanica is a traditional resume template with a neat layout highlighting your career and academic successes. And you need nothing more to represent your growth and passion.


Another resume PDF template with a basic design but modern solutions. This one-pager will help you land the interview in a flash, thanks to the strategic placement of your resume profile and experience sections. Just make sure it’s full of your accomplishments, not responsibilities.


Simple is a two-column template that your recruiter will love for a couple of reasons. First, it has just enough white space that provides a lot better readability despite many accomplishments in the main sections. And second, the clear division of the resume parts makes the navigation experience effortless.


Valera is our unique resume template with one-of-a-kind typography. The template’s standard structure balances its personality, so your recruiter quickly dives into the details of your work history.


Vibes is the last PDF resume but not less significant! It’s a combination of clean resume formatting and fun color schemes. So if you’ve been looking for a resume template that always does the job, you’ve just found it.

How to Make Your PDF Resume

If you prefer to do things from scratch or work in a creative environment and your resume is your portfolio, create the PDF resume yourself. It’ll take your time, skills, and resources, though. So make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into!

But once you’ve made up your mind and you’re sure that your recruiter will accept a resume in PDF, here are the essential ATS tips to make it all worth it:

  • Tip #1: Use the best font for your resume that’s readable in print and digital. They are Arial, Garamond, and Helvetica, among others.
  • Tip #2: Think of resume structure. The ATS doesn’t read special formats, such as tables, images, charts, or graphs, so making an ATS-friendly resume template should be your priority. The best way to verify if the software can read your PDF resume sample is to copy and paste it into a text editor. If the content of your resume turns into unfamiliar signs, the ATS won’t be able to read it, too.
  • Tip #3: Stick to conventional resume sections and drop the idea of writing “The Way I Do Business” as your professional experience. The ATS is preprogrammed to look for headings, such as “Experience,” “Education,” and “Skills.” 
  • Tip #4: Use the best keywords for your resume by taking the exact words and phrases from the job description. You’ll make both recruiters and the parsing software happy.

Do you need information on how to format your resume to highlight your skills and achievements? Read our guide: 3 Resume Formats: How to Choose the Best One [Examples]

Pros and Cons of Resume Format as a PDF

So now that you know all about PDF resumes, let’s hear why they’re ever talked about. The pros and cons of sending a resume PDF will clarify it to a T.


  • Virtually everyone can open a resume in PDF format on their computers.
  • Saving your document as a PDF ensures that the formatting will not get messed up when a user opens it.
  • Others won’t have the ability to change or delete sections of your resume file either deliberately or accidentally.
  • PDF files are less likely to get flagged as containing viruses.


  • Some ATS software may have trouble reading PDF resumes. (But that can be avoided with the correct formatting.)
  • You still need to create an original resume document using Word or another editor. (And that you can also dismiss by using one of the resume builders and their templates.)

Creating a resume with our builder is incredibly simple. Follow our step-by-step guide and use content from Certified Professional Resume Writers to have a resume ready in minutes.

When you’re done, our free resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

Key Takeaway

Remember to keep these points in mind as you plan to export your resume in PDF format:

  • With the birth of Applicant Tracking System software, it is now more crucial than ever to remember tiny details such as what file format you save your resume.
  • It may not seem like a big deal, but if you send a resume in PDF that isn’t formatted to pass through ATS software, there is virtually no chance of your resume reaching a human recruiter. 
  • If you want to keep your resume in the running, make sure you’ve given yourself a fighting chance by creating both a Word resume and a PDF resume.

Still not sure about the resume PDF format? Let us know in the comments, and we will do what we can to address your concerns. Thanks for reading!

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.


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Natalie Severt
Natalie is a career expert and professional writer at Zety, specializing in crafting compelling resumes and cover letters. She has helped countless job seekers land their dream jobs by creating resumes that stand out in a competitive job market.

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