Password Protection for your CV/Resume with Adobe Acrobat or Word

Password Protection for your CV/Resume with Adobe Acrobat or Word

A lot of online scams involving identity theft are hitting the industry these days. In many of these scams the victims’ CVs/resumes are stolen by the scammers and then used for their own criminal purposes.

In this post, I list some basic steps how to protect your own identity from being stolen. Below I’ll explain how to protect your resume/CV from being altered by malicious people with the help of Adobe Acrobat. The free Adobe Reader won’t work. If you do not own Adobe Acrobat, there are freeware programs out there that allow you to password-protect PDF files. I personally am using Acrobat, therefore I cannot comment on these programs.

If you wrote your CV/Resume in Microsoft Word and use the option to save it in PDF format, you can also encrypt the PDF file with a password. Below I show you how.

Adobe Acrobat

  1. Save your document as a PDF
    This is easily accomplished in most word processors by simply choosing the option “Save as” and then choosing Portable Document Format/PDF.

  2. Open your PDF file in Adobe Acrobat and click on File > Properties
    Go to the “Security” tab. Click on Security Method > Password Security
    Adobe Acrobat File Security

    Adobe Acrobat File Security

  3. Set up password protection for editing
    Obviously, you still want people to be able to view your document without password. You only want to protect the document against editing or copying and pasting the content. This is done with the following settings:

    • Check Encrypt all document contents
    • Uncheck Require a password to open the document
    • Check Restrict editing and printing of the document. Set Printing Allowed to None, Changes Allowed to None

    Adobe Acrobat File Security

    Adobe Acrobat File Security

  4. Enter the “Change Permissions Password” and click OK
    A popup window is displayed where you have to enter the same password again and click OK. Click OK again when the warning is displayed. Close the dialog with OK.

  5. Save the document with the changed permissions!

Microsoft Word (Windows)

  1. “File” > “Save as”
    Choose the option “Save as” and then choosing Portable Document Format/PDF, but do not hit “Save” yet.

  2. Click on “Options” before you hit “Save”
    A popup opens with various options to save the file. At the bottom, you will see the option to “Encrypt the document with a password. Choose this option and click OK.

  3. Password protection with MS Word

  4. Click “Save.”

Microsoft Word (Mac)

  1. Go to “File” > “Print”
    Unlike the Windows version, the Mac version has the option to encrypt files via the built-in Mac print functionality.

  2. Go to the bottom dropdown and select “Save as PDF”
    Save as PDF

  3. Select “Security Options” at the bottom on the next screen.

    A new popup will open that shows options to encrypt the PDF file with a password.
    PDF Security Options Mac

Now your CV/resume is password protected against changes and copy-paste operations.

Carola F Berger


Carola F. Berger is a German-English patent translator with a PhD in physics and a master’s degree in engineering physics. She is ATA certified for translation from German into English and from English into German and owns and operates CFB Scientific Translations LLC. Carola serves as webmaster on the NCTA Board of Directors and is also the Administrator of ATA’s Science and Technology Division.

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