If your portfolio/resume is a PDF should there be a maximum file size?

5 years ago from , Designer

Currently reviewing portfolios and resumes. Some of the resumes are over 10MB. The work it most important, but should there also be a consideration for optimising the presentation?


  • Scott ThomasScott Thomas, 5 years ago

    Outlook.com or Gmail, the combined file size limit is 20 megabytes (MB) and for Exchange accounts (business email), the default combined file size limit is 10 MB.

    Probably wouldn't exceed over 10mb. Mainly due to some email restrictions. Although, 10mb! My full college portfolio was 4.5mb!

    Personally, I say nothing over 5mb.... I never heard of someone printing out a resume and saying "shit, they only exported their images at 180 dpi... well they aren't qualified"... its more like why isn't this loading or taking 8 years to print on my black and white laser printer.

    4 points
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      0 points
  • Account deleted 5 years ago

    You can tell a lot about a person by their portfolio file size...

    2 points
  • Dean HaydenDean Hayden, 5 years ago

    Resume shouldn’t be that big, ever! Portfolio will obviously vary due to the actual content.

    The polite thing to do is to send an email friendly version (under 5mb) and also include a link to a higher definition version

    1 point
    • James LaneJames Lane, 5 years ago


      If it's an email version there really isn't any need for images to be 300dpi, just knock it down to 72 (although it can be said that maybe approx. 150 is more common for modern devices, but it will increase file size by setting higher).

      Then upload your print version to something like Dropbox or your own server and send a link. At least with Dropbox, you can update the file and the link will stay the same, really handy if you need to make some last minute amends after you've sent the link.

      0 points
  • Brandon ZellBrandon Zell, 5 years ago

    Overall I would say "10MB? Meh, doesn't matter." Depending on how you create a PDF, the resulting file size can vary greatly.

    However, depending on the position they're applying for, you could take the PDF resume size as an indication of competence and/or attention to detail.

    Just checked: My text resume is < 1MB, and my more graphical resume is 5.4MB.

    1 point
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    0 points
  • Rıza Selçuk SaydamRıza Selçuk Saydam, 5 years ago

    Portfolio and resume are two different things.

    Make sure your resume is under 2MB (common file size limit).

    I recommend building a website for your portfolio and sharing the link in your resume, unless the company is specifically asking your PDF portfolio.

    0 points
  • Per VPer V, 5 years ago

    This is not an answer to your question, and it's probably something that is common knowledge. Let's say you save your PDF from Illustrator, if you're on Mac, open the file in Preview app and then choose "File > Export", then “Reduce File Size” in the “Quartz Filter” select. Often times it saves me a lot of MB.

    0 points
  • Paul BrophyPaul Brophy, 5 years ago

    As a PDF that's going to be sent by email or uploaded/downloaded, the rule is probably quite simple. The bigger it is the more likely something will go wrong. :)

    0 points