Dear Employers, JobVite Can’t Handle Word Docs, Is There Something Better?


I’ve noticed that lots of Internet companies have a job listings page that links to, a third party applicant tracking system. I click on a position at company X. It links me to The branding is consistent with company X insofar as the logo and color scheme are at the top.

What irks me about JobVite is the fact that it’s not easy to upload a resume or cover letter. There’s a form with two textarea elements and a “insert document” link above them. So I’ve already spent hours in my word processing program writing my resumé, formatting it, bolding this, italicizing that, checking font sizes are consistent, aligning every single piece of text down to the pixel.

For company X, JobVite won’t let me upload a .docx or .doc file. It seems to have uploaded it successfully until I hit the submit button at which point it tells me the resumé field is blank. But I just uploaded something. At company Y, JobVite takes my nicely formatted, rich text resumé and strips it of all styling, mangles the alignment in order to put it in their textarea element. Now I go back and spend 5 minutes trying to make plain text ASCII look as presentable as it did before.

JobVite needs to fix their upload document feature for applicants who use MS Word docs. If they can’t handle .doc files, then they should support other file formats like pdf and txt well and make it apparent in writing. I just tested the upload function with a pdf. It seems to have uploaded successfully. My friends are informing me to always use pdf files as they are less susceptible to having their formatting messed up when switching between platforms. I will use pdfs from now on.

I have no idea about the employer end of the JobVite interface. Maybe it’s simple and really nice to use. But if employers, want to give their applicants a nicer experience in applying, they’ll consider a different tool. I hope there are better tools out there.

I’m not the only one who thinks this. Some people at Hacker News are complaining.