Deciding what type of file format to submit your resume in is a decision usually made at the last minute — or not at all.
But recruiters agree it's more important than job seekers think. Submitting your resume in the wrong file format could make it appear distorted or, worse, unreadable to hiring managers — effectively ruining your chances of securing a new job.
CNBC Make It spoke with multiple recruiters who agreed there are a few rules every applicant should follow.
Don't use obscure formats including .txt, .rtf, .pages or even .docx, as not everyone has the newest version of Microsoft Word. Using one of these formats could result in a hiring manager not being able to open or read your resume, says Allyson Goodman, CEO and co-founder of the Pyramid Consulting Group.
Never scan your resume into your computer using a printer, scanner or fax machine, says Brie Reynolds, senior career specialist at FlexJobs. She calls this a "fatal mistake," in part because the low quality image file makes your resume difficult to read.