Google Drive and Google Docs for Resumes

Store Your Google Docs Resume Online With Google Drive

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Google Drive is a good (and free) choice for storing your resume and cover letters online. Google Drive is an organizational system in which you can create, upload, edit, and save documents. You can upload files from your desktop, create new documents using Google Docs (Google's word processing app), and edit and view files from your computer or smartphone. You can also share your documents with others.

Google Drive is extremely useful for job seekers. It allows you to store your job materials online, and organize that information into folders. The resume and letter templates are very helpful for creating job search materials. Job seekers can also share documents online with career counselors or friends and family helping with the job search.

Uploading a Resume to Google Drive

To upload your resume (or any other document), register and create a Google account, if you don't have one. Once registered, you'll be able to access your Google Drive any time you are online.

To upload a resume you have already written onto Google Drive, you can take one of two options. First, you can simply click and drag a document from your computer onto Google Drive. The other option:

  • In Google Drive, click on “My Drive”
  • Click “Upload Files”
  • Upload the document you want to add to Google Drive

If you want to edit the document, click “Open With” at the top of the page. Click Google Docs, which will open the document in Google Docs. Here, you can make any desired changes to the document, including changing the name of the document. These changes will automatically be saved in Google Drive.

Creating a New Google Doc

If you want to write your resume from scratch or compose any other job search materials on Google Drive, click on “New” in the top left corner of Google Drive. Then click “Google Docs,” which will take you to the editing program. There you can write, edit, format, save, and share your job materials.

If you are not used to Google Docs, don't worry—it is very similar to Microsoft Word. Like Microsoft Word, you can adjust the font and font size, add bullet points and other special characters, and make other resume formatting changes.

Use a Resume or Cover Letter Template

Through Google Drive, you can also access many Google Docs document templates. There are many free resume templates and business letter templates you can use for a cover letter or other professional job search letter. Here's how to access and use the templates:

  • In Google Drive, click on “New” in the top left corner
  • Click the arrow to the right of “Google Docs”
  • Click “From a Template”
  • Look at the list of different templates, and select the template you want to use

This will open up a new Google Doc with the template embedded in it. A template is a great starting point for a resume or letter. Be sure to personalize your document with your career information.

Editing a Resume

Clicking on a document in Google Drive allows you to read it, not edit it. Here is how to edit your document:

  • Find the document in your Google Drive and click on it
  • Click “open with” at the top of the page
  • Select “Google Docs” – This will allow you to edit the file
  • It will automatically save any changes to your Google Drive

Organizing Files

You can place your job search files into specific folders to help organize your job search. Just click on “New” in the top left corner of Google Drive. Then click on “New Folder.” You can then name the folder, and click and drag Google Docs and any other materials into the folder.

Sharing Files

Once you have a document on Google Drive, you can choose to share it with specific individuals or even publish it publicly online. Here's how:

  • Find the document in your Google Drive and click on it
  • Click “open with” at the top of the page
  • Select “Google Docs.” This will allow you to edit the file
  • Click “Share” in the top right corner of the document
  • You can then enter the emails of specific people if you want to share with one or two employers, family members, friends, etc.
  • You can also click “Get shareable link,” which allows you to share a URL with whomever you want
  • Click “Advanced” if you want to make it completely public. Once you click “Advanced," under “Who has access,” click “Change.” You can then choose to either make the document public, share it with specific people (or people who have the URL), or make it private for you.

Sharing your resume and cover letter online allows hiring managers and recruiters to find it.

Do keep in mind that once you make your resume public, anyone can find it—and that can mean the wrong people as well as the right people, including your boss if you are currently employed.

Your resume also includes personal information like your phone number. You may prefer to keep that private. So, before you make your resume public, be absolutely sure you want your resume and all the personal information on it available to anyone and everyone on the internet.

Access Files Offline

A downside to online document systems is that you need access to the internet to use them. However, this is not the case with Google Drive. Simply download the Google Docs Offline Chrome Extension onto your computer (or whatever device you want to use to access your documents).​ You must use the Chrome browser, but this will allow you to work on existing files and create new ones offline and they will load into Google Drive when you are back online.