Applications and Metadata in PDF …

… can form a strong connection. In one of our last Career Service seminars we discussed the topic of machines reading applications and how metadate can reduce or increase the success of your application. Afterwards Sabrina, one of the participants, did some further research on the subject. She has now sent us the following text. Many thanks.

Sabrina’s blog-entry for the Career Service:

Metadata and PDF

Imagine you’re trying to find the perfect book in a massive library. How do you locate it among thousands of others? The answer lies in metadata. Metadata is like a librarian’s secret tool, providing the context surrounding a piece of information, making it easier to understand and find. A library’s metadata includes book categories, subjects, authors, titles, and physical attributes like weight and dimensions. This detailed information helps librarians organize and locate books efficiently, ensuring you can find what you’re looking for.

But metadata’s power extends beyond libraries. The standard definition of metadata is „data about data“; more elaborately, metadata provides context about a piece of information, making it easier to find and understand.

Tech companies like Google and Facebook use metadata to gather insights about individuals. By analyzing patterns in your digital communication—who you talk to, how often, and how you communicate—they can learn a lot about you without ever reading the content of your messages.

Understanding metadata is crucial. It’s a powerful tool that impacts how we navigate our information-rich world, helping us find what we need while posing significant privacy considerations.

Metadata in a PDF

Metadata in a PDF refers to the information embedded within the document that details its content, origin, and attributes. This information helps organize, find, and manage the document. Here are the critical components of PDF metadata:

  • Title: The name of the document.
  • Author: The individual or organization that created the document.
  • Subject: A summary or description of the document’s content.
  • Keywords: Terms that facilitate the categorization and searchability of the document.
  • Creation Date: The date and time when the document was first created.
  • Modification Date: The date and time when the document was last modified.
  • Producer: The software or tool used to generate the PDF.
  • Creator: The original software or application used to create the document before converting it to PDF.
  • Language: The language in which the document is written.
  • Version: The version of the PDF standard to which the document conforms.

This metadata is used by search engines, document management systems, and users to understand and locate documents more efficiently.

How to check pdf metadata

To unlock the secrets hidden within a PDF’s metadata, follow these steps:

  1. Open the PDF: Start by opening the PDF document using a PDF reader or editor.
  2. Access Document Properties: Look for an option usually labeled as „Document Properties,“ „File Properties,“ or „Properties.“ This option is typically found under the „File“ menu or by right-clicking on the document.
  3. View Metadata: Once you access the document properties, navigate to the „Metadata“ tab or section. You’ll find a list of metadata fields containing information about the PDF here.
  4. Review Metadata: Take a closer look at the metadata fields such as title, author, subject, keywords, creation date, modification date, producer, and creator. These fields provide valuable insights into the document’s content, origin, and history.

How to Change and Add Metadata in a PDF

Sometimes, you can update the default metadata to make it more meaningful and more accessible to track. Follow our simple steps to quickly modify the metadata in your PDFs, saving you time and simplifying your work.

This guide will show you how to change or add metadata to an existing PDF easily.

This guide is designed to make your work life a little easier and more efficient!

Step-by-Step Guide:

  • Make sure Adobe Acrobat’s full version is installed. You can download Adobe Acrobat here:
  • Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat
  • Click File menu, Properties…
Screenshot Document Properties Adobe Acrobat
  • In the Description tab, enter the Title, Subject & Keywords metadata
  • Click the “OK” button 
  • When complete, click the File menu and save.

It’s that simple.

Why you might think of changing metadata in PDF

Updating metadata in a PDF is like giving your document a makeover, boosting its accuracy, searchability, and privacy protection. By ensuring that the document’s information reflects its content accurately, adding relevant keywords for easy searching, and safeguarding sensitive details, you enhance its overall quality and usability. Plus, maintaining brand consistency and legal compliance adds an extra layer of professionalism and security.

To make her contribution more personal, Sabrina has sent us a photo. Her question: Can I also use it for my application? The Career Service team is looking forward to your answers. Send an e-mail to

Designing your future …

… is a challenge. As the University of Siegen is a part of the Advanced Technology Higher Education Network Alliance (ATHENA), we are also a part of the special ATHENA Career Service Program. Strong networks create new possibilities.

Interested in what we do?

On 19 October, for example, we invite you to join the ATHENA Career Event. It is online and we start at 9 am. How to register and what to expect can be found on the ATHENA Website.

We are looking forward to see you, because the future is just the next step.

How late …

… is too late? Well, it’s never too late for good wishes. We at the Career Service would like to wish you the best for the new year. We have started the New Year quite quickly, with many appointments and individual trainings. So it took some time for the good intentions of consistent blog writing to find its place. But here we are with a new input on job application!

How late is too late is also always a question when applying. For example: Can I still send in my application documents after the application deadline has passed? The answer is not as simple as it might seem and often not the probable expected no. You certainly can still apply, especially for jobs advertised online. The fact that the advertisement is still available, is an indication that an application may still be possible. Our recommendation: Simply give them a call and ask. If the phone call leads to a good conversation, this can be the basis for a good application, perhaps even for a completely different position in the company, which you were not aware of. In any case: Good luck!

And because twice is better, here, form the Career Service Christmas parcel, two little pigs. They are made from marzipan, designed to bring you a happy New Year.

With a hot needle …

… knitted or sewn, or even patched up with a hot needle, that’s a German saying. And as this blog entry also was made at the last minute, simply because there was so much to do at Career Service this week, this saying came into my mind. For the application, it’s good to take some time to carefully compile the documents and have someone else look over everything before you press the send button. Better safe than sorry, because mistakes that you see after sending cannot be corrected. This is different with this blog entry. Fortunately you only see the final edited version!

Templates and patterns ..

… can be easily found all over the interent. From knitting patterns of winter sweaters to inspirations for the next elegant evening dress, and all sort of study and work templates, which could be very tempting for students to use. A fast solution to a seemingly complicated problem. For applications, cover letters and resumes, there are countless of templates on the Internet. My experience is that they are not helpful at all. They often even lead to a really bad presentation in the resume or cover letter, which often leads to a bad impression of the candidate. I can adapt the pattern of the garment to my size, but if I insert predefined or recommended phrases into my cover letter or resume, they remain a foreign body. What I myself want to say does not become visible. It is covered by the template. My own good idea doesn’t come up at all, and that’s a pity. Writing your resume or cover letter using your own expressive words will offer a better representation of who you are and what you can offer.

A hammer drill …

… that can drill holes in even the hardest concrete without making any noise – that’s what you want when an enthusiastic DIYer is trying out his new acquisition in the apartment next door. But drilling a hole and making no noise is a requirement profile that no one can fulfill. A similarly unfulfillable combination of requirements can also be found in some job advertisements. A pity, really. I can turn off the drill if I disturb my neighborhood. The job posting is something I should simply apply for, even if I don’t fulfill everything. Then, in case of doubt, there will be a rejection. Yes. But at last I still have the chance to get an answer and perhaps an invitation for a job interview. So why not give it a try. Good luck.