The Career Coach is In

Master the electronic resume


It has been years since I have done a job search. What suggestions do you have for me to be more effective with an electronic resume?


No question that in today's job market, you have to be able to connect with employers via the Internet. The Internet has clearly altered the way you find a job and manage your career. And the great thing about an Internet search and posting your resume is that it can be done instantly. The employer can post the position as soon as it becomes available and you can post your resume instantly. No more snail mail wait.

You first want to be able to effectively develop and transmit an electronic and/or Internet resume. Let's look at the distinction(s) between the two.

An electronic resume organizes and presents your qualifications in the order the computer wants them to be listed. The information gets stored in a database and will typically search for keywords. Therefore, you want to be sure you know what the keywords are and be sure to use these buzz words.

An Internet resume is typically sent as either an e-mail message (embedded) or as an attachment. (I have been told by numerous hiring managers that they prefer the resume to be embedded, rather than attached, because of concerns about viruses.) It is important to keep in mind that an Internet resume will most likely not transmit in the same format that you send. Usually it will print out in the font the recipient uses, not the font on your computer. It won't convert bold lettering, italics, bullets etc., so be aware.

Regardless of which resume you use, I suggest simple fonts, such as Helvetica, Courier Sans Serif or Times, either 10 or 12 size. And remember, forget all the glitzy graphic techniques that you might have used on your paper resume. Scanners and databases won't be able to pick these up and most likely will not present your information properly.

I also suggest, when possible, follow up with a paper version of your resume via snail mail. In these days of spam filters and blocks, you might not know if your resume even gets through to the employer, unless they respond, of course. And, because Internet resumes don't always transmit the best, they can be hard to read. The format most likely will change and might not be as appealing to the reader as a paper resume. It never hurts, and for the cost of one stamp, it could be worth it!

Two other tips for resumes--use a professional e-mail address, your name not something like cutekid@ and never use your current employer's e-mail address.


Marshall Brown

 |  July 26, 2010; 8:51 AM ET  |  Category:  Career Change , Job Search , Resumes Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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This article has very good advice. I am a professional resume writer with 30+ years of experience, and I agree that you should follow up your technical resume with a professional, well-formatted and edited paper resume.

Posted by: dorisa1 | July 26, 2010 3:59 PM
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