Tips For Putting A Resume Online

Online resumes are powerful job hunting tools when you bear in mind these tips about formatting differences and Internet privacy considerations.

The internet is a powerful tool for today's job seekers. It connects candidates and employers instantly and expands job searches far beyond the classifieds. The internet can be merciless, however, and resumes posted online often suffer from poor formatting and other presentation faux pas that urge an employer move on to the next candidate after barely a glance. By taking the limitations of different online resume methods into consideration, applicants can create powerful and appealing resumes that make job hunting as easy as the click of a mouse.

Online Resumes: Resume Banks

The most common way to post a resume on the internet is through a resume bank or repository. Large employers may maintain their own resume database, while generic career websites offer the opportunity for individuals and businesses from many fields to post resumes, search job listings, or screen candidates. While these databases will make a resume easily available, documents must often be submitted through a standardized form with little room for personalization or creative presentation. Nevertheless, a savvy applicant can utilize certain tricks to make their resume more noticeable.

Resume banks usually include a section for basic information such as name, birth date, and education level as well as a field for users to insert the body of their resume. Be aware that most submission forms will not recognize special formatting such as bullets, tabs, or bold-faced text, and the impact of a highly-formatted resume can be lost by pasting it into the form. It is best to create a text-only format using basic characters such as plus signs (+), asterisks (*), or dashes (-) in place of specialized bullets. To draw attention to headings or titles, use ALL CAPS instead of bold or italicized text. Before submitting your resume, preview it to insure that different sections of the text appear as desired and that the limited formatting available is correct.

Employers often search resume banks for suitable candidates by using job-specific keywords. Incorporating numerous keywords into your resume can help it match those searches and attract more attention. Keywords should be included in the text of the resume as headers, duty descriptions, and other useful information. For example, listing the computer programs you use may attract an employer interested in someone with knowledge of those programs. If acronyms are common, be sure to include the full spelling as well as the abbreviation for greater effectiveness. Using synonyms will help maximize the number of employers who may view your resume, but remember that all information should be presented professionally and accurately. Employers can easily identify padded resumes that include superficial information just to grab attention.

If you are submitting your resume to a general bank, be certain you can delete it after a successful job hunt. This will limit the unsolicited and spam e-mail it may attract, and it is courteous to remove yourself from consideration for future jobs. To further reduce unwanted e-mails or potentially fraudulent offers, use a resume bank that allows you to conceal contact information from casual viewers. This way, only a legitimate user will be able to contact you. You could also establish a separate e-mail address that is only used for your resume, and then deactivate the address when it is no longer necessary. For additional security, never include your social security number on any form of online resume.

Online Resumes: E-Mail

If you are planning to e-mail your resume to potential employers, it is important to be sure it will arrive in their inbox as attractive as possible. As with resume banks, many e-mail programs will not recognize special characters, formatted text, or tab indentations, and a resume that relies on these formatting tools will appear as gibberish. Compose a plain-text version, and double-check it by first sending it to yourself so you can scrutinize line breaks, spacing, and other stylistic considerations before submitting it to an employer. Because e-mail programs format messages differently, it is best to err on the side of caution for your resume to appear as close to the desired format as possible.

Never try to send an employer an unsolicited resume as a file attachment. Many viruses and other problems result from attachments, and recipients are likely to delete the message without opening it. If, however, you have already communicated with the employer and they requested your resume as an attachment, it is best to follow their instructions. In that case, phrase the subject line of the message to indicate that they requested the file.

Online Resumes: Personal Webpages

Posting your resume on a personal website is an attractive option. A webpage has greater formatting flexibility, and rather than e-mail employers a lengthy document, you can simply provide a link to the appropriate site. There are several downsides to this approach, however. Posting personal contact information, even just an e-mail address, on a webpage invites spam e-mails and fraudulent deals to begin appearing in your inbox instead of legitimate offers. To safeguard against this, use an e-mail address specific to your resume, and suggest that employers contact you for additional information.

Even though webpages can support multitudes of fancy fonts, graphics, and attention-grabbing techniques such as flashing colors, sound, and elaborate effects, an online resume should not. Your resume should be easy to view, attractive, and professional. While it is fine to add a tasteful background or to use small, simple graphics in lieu of bullets, be sure those touches do not overpower the document's text. Fonts should be large enough read easily, and black text on a white background is the most professional choice. Anyone faced with an obnoxious, difficult-to-read page is likely to move on rather than attempt to decipher the information.

It is not advisable to scan your paper resume and post it on your website as one large graphic. The graphic will take additional time to load, and even with a high-quality scanner the detail and clarity will not be as good as a regular text page. You can, however, offer a downloadable resume for the employer's convenience.

The website you post your resume on should be a reflection of your professionalism. If you include other pages describing your pets, vacations, or favorite celebrities, an employer may be unintentionally put off by your personal information. A general rule of thumb is that if you would not discuss a topic with a new boss, then it should not be mentioned on your website alongside your resume.

Online Resumes: General Tips

No matter what form you choose to use for an online resume, always double-check for spelling and grammatical errors. When a face-to-face meeting is not possible, your resume makes that first impression for you, and careless mistakes portray you as a careless employee. A resume does not need to be a complete autobiography - rather, it should include the best information for helping you land the job you want. That you spent a year building schools in Africa is relevant for construction work or social services, but not for computer programming. If your webpage resume includes links to other sites, such as previous clients, interviews, or other material, check those links periodically to insure they are operational.

By heeding simple tips to make an online resume convenient and attractive to potential employers, job seekers harness the internet's power to assist their search. Whether the resume will be uploaded to a database, e-mailed to different companies, or posted on a personal website, online resumes are effective tools for prospective employees to help bring their careers into the twenty-first century.

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