Aug 18, 2018 - 09:08 AM
How likely is it that the company uses an applicant tracking system? A business may use an ATS to scan resumes and cover letters to harvest information and identify certain keywords. This makes going through applications faster and more efficient. If you're applying to a large company that receives piles of resumes and cover letters, chances are they use an ATS. Because PDF files don't scan as well, using a Word document is the superior choice.
How complex is my cover letter? PDF files are more consistent in the way they display texts and formatting. If you use a DOC format, unique fonts or advanced styles can switch to default settings. This causes your cover letter to display incorrectly. While this is a point in PDF's favor, the truth is that you shouldn't be using complicated formatting anyway. So, while either file type is acceptable, the DOC format is preferable.