Many people think the resume you hand to prospective employer is formatted the same as an online resume or one you would email. In some cases, this is not true. Take a look at this article explaining the differences…
You do not need a different resume, you only need to alter the format of your resume to make it easy for you to post, copy and paste, or email it to employers.
When done correctly, your well-written, well-prepared resume will contain all of the necessary keywords to attract attention whether it is being scanned into a resume system, indexed and searched online, or read on paper by a real human.
Resume Versions to Prepare
Job search experts recommend you keep duplicates of your resume in each of these versions or formats.
- A Print Version, designed with bulleted lists, italicized text, and other highlights, ready to print and mail or hand to potential contacts and interviewers.
- A Scannable Version, a less-designed version without the fancy design highlights. Bulleted lists are fine, but that’s about the limit.
- A Plain Text Version, a plain text file ready to copy and paste into online forms or post in online resume databases. This might also be referred to as a Text-Only copy.
- An E-mail Version, another plain text copy, but this one is specifically formatted for the length-of-line restrictions in e-mail. This is also a Text-Only copy.
This is the same document presented in four ways, each formatted for a specific delivery purpose.
Why Plain Text?
You could just use the forms most databases provide to build your resume in their system, but resume expert and author Susan Ireland doesn’t recommend you do this for several reasons.
- Spell-check: Preparing your resume in advance using your own word processing program allows you to spell-check your resume and revise it as needed until you are happy with it.
- Format: Most online forms and builders insist on a chronological resume, which focuses on work history. Career changers who would prefer a functional resume with its emphasis on skills will be at a disadvantage.
- Reusability: If you build it in their database using their form, you’ve done a lot of work for only one site, which means you will have to repeat your effort for every database you encounter. That’s a lot of typing! Prepare it in advance on your own computer and you have it to use as much as you like.
We have instructions on converting your Word document to 2 different Plain Text documents suitable for pasting in to email and posting in databases.
What About an HTML Version?
Many job seekers are creating “webbed” resumes in the hopes of being discovered or as a place to refer an employer who might want to see more than what is usually found in a resume. An HTML version of your resume works particularly well for persons in the visual arts or programming, but it could serve anyone, provided it is done right and for the right reasons.
- Doing it right means starting with a basic HTML version of your designed resume, not an overloaded page of Shockwave and Java effects, huge graphics, and audio files that takes more than 2 minutes to download on your DSL line and blasts out your computer speakers.
- Doing it for the right reasons means turning your resume into a portfolio, complete with links to former employers or projects already publicly available online. Be sure you are not violating any copyright or confidentiality clauses by putting information online without prior approval.