Presuming you've written a great resume to begin with, here's what you really need to know about your electronic version:
- It must be searchable.
- It must be in ASCII format.
Someone searching the Internet resume banks for the perfect candidate (you) needs to be able to weed out all the unqualified candidates, which potentially number in the tens of thousands nowadays. Typically, they'll enter search terms intended to eliminate the vast majority of posted resumes and select the most promising. They do this much as one might perform an Internet search on Google or another search engine by entering key word search terms.
Their search might be limited to a certain geographical area, a certain skill set or qualification, or a certain job description, among obvious search categories.
The geographical part is easy - your contact information will help someone looking for a software designer in San Francisco Bay area or a pretzel maker in Milwaukee find you if you are qualified and live in the right part of the world.
However, if you have technical qualifications that can be searched in different ways - "Bachelor of Science" and "B.Sc." for example, your resume should use both variants so that a search engine finds you either way.
And if you possess job experience that's highly relevant to the job in question, be sure to describe it in the most common ways that it would likely be searched on.
Tip: Read through your completed resume and see if you can't describe qualifications, degrees, or job titles in multiple alternative ways throughout the resume. This will increase the chances you'll be found in an online search.
Your professionally laid out and formatted paper resume may end up looking like gibberish if simply transformed into an electronic copy. Programs like Word allow you to format nice looking documents with features such as tabs, bullets, centering, bold, italic and other word processing niceties.
Unfortunately, when converted to electronic form, many of these word processing features are lost. Worse, what's left over may bear no resemblance to the exquisite resume that you labored over to produce.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution. You can prepare a simple text version in a text editor like Notepad or any of the dozens of other text editors out there. In this case, you'll replace many of these text effects. For example, you'll replace bullets with asterisks, word wrap with a hard carriage return, and tabs and justification effects with simple spaces.
Another solution is to use a program specifically designed for writing resumes like WinWay Resume Express. (See the "Do It Yourself Resumes" page at www.Impressive-Resumes.com to learn more about this inexpensive handy program.) It features an easy way to transform your resume into a searchable electronic version with very little effort after you've created the word processing formatted version.
No matter which method you use, be sure you've taken these simple preparations for electronic distribution before you hit "send." This will greatly increase the chances that your resume will reach its intended audience.
by Vincent Czaplyski