Imagine a scene in which you have just finished creating an important document that has taken you hours to put together. You have checked it over for content, making sure all of your images are formatted and aligned correctly, you have proofread for spelling mistakes, and now, you are ready to send it over email.
The document could be a proposal for a new client you are trying to win over, an invoice for your last commissioned project, a dissertation or important piece of university coursework, or even a CV for a prospective employer. Before you hit send on your email with attached Word document, stop and consider whether this really is the format you want to use.
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When sending important documents such as resumes, proposals, invoices or coursework, there are several reasons why we recommend sending them as a PDF file (even if the original document is in a different format).
PDF file advantages
PDF documents are predictable
PDF documents are universal; they look the same for everybody. Word documents may vary when viewing on different computers or through various software. For example, those images that you spent hours aligning and re-sizing on Word could have moved when your end user opens in Pages on a Mac. Or perhaps you have used your favourite custom font? Unless the reader has that font installed, Word might replace it with an alternative, taking away from your intended aesthetic.
A PDF document is a ‘snapshot’ in time, which is going to look the same to everyone on every device.
Your content is safe
Once you save a PDF document, it is locked from editing. The person you are sending the file to can’t accidentally delete your ending or maliciously take a zero off your invoice. Document security could be important if you are sending over sensitive details, data or financial records.
PDFs allow you to rest assured that the integrity of your document is strong.
Legal professionals recommend using PDF file formats because they cannot be altered without leaving an electronic footprint. If your document is particularly sensitive, you can also password protect the PDF to stop it from being opened by the wrong hands.
Sending a PDF is more professional
Sending over a well-presented, neat PDF is more professional than sending over a Word document that may, or may not, look how you originally intended it. In the case of prospective employers or clients, you want to do everything you can to ensure they can read your document without any formatting issues.
Everyone can open a PDF on any device, mobile or desktop, with ease.
PDF users can find and search for keywords within the document and can add annotations or notes as feedback, which they can then send back to you. It’s the smart file type to use …
PDF files are perfect for email as they are a great way of sending long documents with plenty of images without breaching the file-size limit for sending. Documents are easy to compress, allowing you to transfer presentations or work filled with pictures, graphs and graphics with ease. The humble PDF file is a versatile and amazing file format!