I was at one of the branch libraries I support, just finished installing Microsoft Office on one of the public access machines. I don’t have installed on all the computers available to the public due to the cost but I did install Open Office on all computers (the price was right).
As I completed the install the Librarian and I got chatting and he mentioned a fellow was in earlier and was saying that the job hunting sessions are recommending people not use Open Source software to write resumes as it sometimes won’t look right in Microsoft Office. At first I thought it was a load of bull but then I thought about it some more and I think the person might have a point. Most companies are using a commercial product, usually Microsoft Office or WordPerfect. If the company can’t read the file you send then guess what, you are out of luck, so you want to be sure the file is in a format they employer could open.
So I hit Google and checked what the various sites and recruiters say. Monster.com suggests ASCII format unless it specifies Word format or something else. The gals over at JobSyntax suggest a doc format (MS Word) or txt format, (again ASCII). Heather Hamilton, staffing manager at Microsoft also suggests a doc format and an ASCII format.
ASCII seems to be the one everyone agrees on but if you use Microsoft Word, your probably pretty safe. I’d even go out on a limb and say if you use Open Office, save it in Microsoft Word format and keep the file pretty simple, ie, no tables or any fancy formatting, you’re probably not going to have a problem with using that either.