PDFs for your resumes and more

As the the name implies — Portable Document Format, more commonly called a ‘PDF’ — is a great way to display downloadable  documents on line.  Organizations ranging from government agencies to private companies make documents available as PDFs (or in a form easily convertible to PDF), which in turn makes it easy for journalists to provide sources documents with stories.

PDFs can:

  • work independently of any individual software program and open easily an most computers in programs like Apple’s Preview.
  • be made from documents produced in programs like Microsoft Word. To convert a Word document into a PDF. Simply open the print screen and choose to ‘Save as PDF’ (see below)
  • Other programs such as Acrobat Reader (loaded on your school computer) allow you to do more complex things with PDFs — edit them, add graphic elements, combine PDFs into a single multi-page document.)
  • PDFs will retain font and pagination
  • PDFs are downloadable by the viewer

It is very important that your resume be easily downloadable from your portfolio site. Making it available as a PDF is a great way to do that. There are a couple of different ways to make this work.

1) The simplest way to do this is to write or paste your resume into a WordPress Page. This will be viewable but not downloadable. To create a downloadable version PDF of your resume you will create a link to the PDF and put it at the top of the page. Be sure and label it in some way so that readers understand they can download it — ‘Download Resume Here,’ for example.

Here is how: Upload your resume PDF into Word Press as a Media File in the same way you would a image or audio file. Copy the ‘Link URL’ that will appear in the display window after the PDF is finished uploading and simply make the text – Download Resume Here (example) – the link by selecting the link icon in the WP toolbar and pasting in the ‘Link URL’ on the page that is your viewable resume.

2) Another more elegant way to display a downloadable version of your resume involves using Scribd, a third-party software service that allows users to upload and share documents.  Upload your resume/PDF in Scribd. It’s easy. After it has uploaded click on (blue) resume title text. It will take you to the document page. There are several places on the page that read ’embed.’ Pick one. Copy the ‘Standard HTML’ from field.

Now head back to WordPress. Create a new page. This will be your resume page – both usable and downloadable. With the HTML tab selected, paste the HTML into the page.  Have a look. NOTE: In Scribd the size of your resume will be set to ‘Auto.’ You can change it to fit the exact size of  your WP theme’s page.

Issuu is another third-party service that allows you to do even more complex presentations with PDFs. I have use it to present PDFs of my online photo clips in a single, magazine or flip book style presentation.  Check it out.

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