Getting Your Resume Internet-Ready

What is the difference?  The resume that you put online is often the same or a similar document to the one you created to be printed with a few formatting exceptions. Make your resume as simple and clean as possible to ensure a seamless transition from computer to computer.

Your electronic resume should:

  1. Be easily scanned and able to be cut and pasted without difficulty.  Lines and other details can be difficult to transfer. Minimize all extra design elements. Bulleted lists are okay but you may want to use standard keyboard symbols such as dashes (-) or asterisks (*) instead of the automatic bullets provided on some programs.
  2. Contain a minimum of typeface changes and/or font sizes.  Use only one size of font and one universal font for the entire document (exception: you can still make your name 2-3 sizes bigger). Also minimize bolded words – use all caps instead for emphasis. Also, Arial and Times New Roman are good universal font choices.
  3. As always, be absolutely free of errors. Because of the simple format, errors in electronic resumes jump out at the reader. Check and recheck grammar and spelling – don’t rely on the spell check to fix the mistakes.
  4. Be saved as a PDF document.  PDF’s are the most universal of documents that can be sent and also preserve your original formatting. Many companies prefer them to Word or other common word-processing software, because of the ease of feeding them into automated resume reading systems. Be sure to check if that is the preference of the employer prior to sending your resume to them.

Tips to stay out of the trash bin:

Follow directions. Do they want your resume as an attachment? Do they specify the need for a separate cover  letter? Do they want you to use a certain program?

Do a test run before sending your resume to employers. Send your resume to friends and have them open it.

Your email message is a cover letter. Like a regular cover letter the body of the email should introduce you, specify how you meet the needs of the employer, and encourage the recipient to read your full resume—especially for postings that do not ask for a separate cover letter.

Your subject line is part of your resume. Use the job title or job code cited in the job posting and your name to make it easy for your email to be recognized.

Name your resume.SmithJohnResume.doc will not only be easy for the recruiter to find but brings your name once again into the spotlight.
Resume.doc will get lost in the shuffle easily.