How to Upload a CV Online (Tips and Format Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you apply for jobs, you may wonder how to upload a CV, since different employers may use different recruiting methods. This requires knowledge of formatting and strong attention to detail. By knowing how to properly submit your CV online, you may increase your chances of being hired. In this article, we discuss how to submit your CV online, provide you with information on how to attach your CV in an email, show you how to name your CV and provide you with several tips for uploading your CV.

How to upload a CV online

Here are some standard steps you can follow when you upload a CV online:

1. Verify the format of your CV

The website you're uploading your CV to might change the format or structure of your CV if you use improper formatting. Consider reviewing the job description to determine whether the employer posted the ideal format for a CV. If they did not include specific information, choose the format that works best with your CV to ensure the elements such as font, bullet points or margins don't change. Uploading your CV in the right format helps maintain the readability of your CV for hiring managers and recruiters.

Related: 15 CV Objective Examples (And How to Write One for Your CV)

2. Copy and paste your CV

Some job search sites, talent management websites or online applications do not have the option to upload CVs. Instead of uploading your CV onto a site, they may require you to use their own CV builder, or they may require you to copy and paste a version of your CV into a text box. In this case, it's likely that your CV won't keep its formatting. Make sure to double-check for any errors , such as extra spaces, before you save and submit your CV.

Related: How to Write a CV Profile

3. Upload CV file

Many job sites give you the option to upload your CV file directly. To do this, there is often an "Upload" or "Attach file" button that lets you search your files to upload your CV. Make sure to double-check the file after uploading to ensure there are no issues.

Related: CV Examples for Students (With Template)

4. Select your CV file

When selecting your CV, ensure your uploading the correct file. This requires you to have clear titles for all files, especially if you have multiple CVs tailored for different jobs, which ensures you upload the correct version of your CV. Choose the proper file and click "Open" to attach the document to the website.

Related: Tips for Listing Your Interests on a CV

5. Click the "Upload" button again and save

Some websites don't upload files automatically after you select your CV. Verify that the file you selected is the correct CV and then click "Upload" again to add your CV to the online system. Some websites allow you to make changes as needed before you save your CV in their system to begin applying for jobs.

Best file format to use for uploading your CV

Most job websites provide a list of acceptable file formats for uploading your CV, but you must decide which file format keeps your layout the same. You may do this by testing a couple of acceptable file formats before you upload your CV. Here are some of the best file formats to use for uploading your CV:

Word document or .docx

Word processors are popular for writing CVs. Documents written in Microsoft Word are saved as .doc or .docx files. Some job ads request this format over another format, since this word processor is standard in most organisations.


PDF files ensure that the hiring manager receives your CV with the format you originally used and with the format you designed. The primary benefit of using a PDF file is that almost any hiring manager can open it on their computer. Most mobile devices and computers have software to open and read a PDF file.


HTML files open in browsers that are similar to webpages. The file maintains its formatting and general layout when you use this file format. When you send this attachment, the hiring manager can view your CV online without downloading it.

Plain text

Plain text CVs often contain characters that have no bolding, italics or centering. This format is usually best for an applicant tracking system (ATS) to sort through and decipher. Employers that use an ATS may require you to copy and paste your CV into their text box, which may strip your CV into plain text formatting.

How to attach a CV to an email

When uploading your CV, you may also want to attach your CV in an email. Here's a guide to help you attach your CV:

1. Open your email

In this step, you typically open your email and click on the button that indicates new mail, or a button that states "C ompose an email." This button often looks like a plus sign. Most email service providers use similar formats that allow users to attach their files.

2. Attach your CV

When uploading your CV, you can choose to copy and paste the information into your email. If not, you typically insert the attachment by pressing the button that reads "Files" or "Attachments." Alternatively, the button may also look like a paperclip. When you click on this button, a box appears that allows you to attach a file. Browse your files and select the correct CV file. From here, you click the button that says "Open." If your CV is uploaded properly, it's commonly visible under the subject line of your email. Many email providers let you open an attachment from your email to double-check that it was attached properly and that it's the correct file.

How to name your CV file

Here's a guide to help you name your CV file:

1. Include your name

There may be misunderstandings if there are other candidates with a similar first name to yours. Consider including your full name when naming your CV file. This provides the hiring manager with specific information about who submitted the CV or email.

2. Maintain a low character count

When emailing a CV, consider how you can develop a more concise title. Your CV title typically contains a low character count. If your file is too long, you can use abbreviations for either the CV or your preferred name. For example, you can use Jessica_Barns_CV or JB_CV.

3. Include the word CV

When titling any document, you typically include information about its purpose. When sending your CV, consider including the word CV in the filename. This helps the hiring manager differentiate your CV from your other application materials.

5. Remove version numbers or years

Consider removing any version numbers in your file name. Instead, you can provide the employer with a concise and clear file name. This shows the employer that the CV you provided is the most updated version.

Tips for writing your CV

Here are some tips to consider when writing your CV:

Be concise

When developing your CV, consider how you can reduce the word count. While you typically want your CV to be a maximum of two pages, one page is ideal. Remove any unnecessary information or details that you intend to include in your cover letter.


During the development of your CV, consider your proofreading process. Ask someone close to you to review your CV for any errors that they consider obstacles to your chances of being hired. A third party may find errors that you otherwise missed. You can also use online tools that spot grammar and punctuation errors. Proofreading may improve the overall professionalism of your CV.

Customise CVs

When you apply for multiple job positions, you can customise your CV for each job title. You can review each job posting to discover the skills and qualifications expected by each hiring manager. By customising your CV for specific job titles, you show hiring managers that you have the qualifications and experience necessary to be successful in their field. When you research a company's job postings, you can better demonstrate your interest in a company and role to their hiring manager.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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