Electronic Résumé Submission
Once you have created the best possible résumé to showcase your education, experience, and skills, you need to consider how you will put it in the hands of possible employers. Today, companies use technology to help manage the hiring process.
The Office of Career Development is available to assist you as you take on the task of creating your electronic résumé.
Your original résumé with graphics, bullets, and design elements is the version of you will mail when you know it will be reviewed by hand. Bring this version with you to interviews, and when networking person to person. Use it if you are certain your résumé will not be scanned into a computer database.
You will use the scannable version of your résumé when you believe a company will scan it into a computer database in order to search electronically for qualified candidates. You will mail (or fax followed by mail) your scannable résumé to these companies.
Determining which companies use scanning technology for résumé storage is important when deciding which version to send. There is no guaranteed way to determine if a company is using an automated applicant tracking system (except to ask someone in the know), but clues can be found. Ask yourself: would this company likely receive large numbers of résumés on a regular basis? Does the company list application instructions on their web site? Does the company post open positions through an online résumé bank? Your résumé style should reflect your judgment regarding the scanning practices of the company in question.
When employers who use automated applicant tracking systems are searching for qualified candidates, they will conduct a search of their résumé database. Employers will search by entering the requisite key words into the search function. The computer will display all résumés which include these key words. For example, if an employer wants to hire someone who has sales experience, can word process using Word, and has a bachelor's degree, he/she might search the computer database using these key words: sales; bachelor's; BA; Microsoft Word. Resumés that include these exact words would be selected for further review by a person.
To increase the chance of your résumé being selected through a computerized search, convert your skills and experience into a format that maximizes industry specific key words. Use the language of your profession, including acronyms and their full phrases. Use names of specific products and services, such as Lotus Notes or Microsoft Excel. Consider including a summary of skills or accomplishments to help maximize key words. Key words tend to be nouns rather than verbs. Try to use nouns to describe your activities and experiences. For example: use "project manager" rather than "managed project".
After you have maximized your key words on your scannable résumé, implement these format guidelines:
- Use a standard font such as Helvetica, Arial, Courier, or Times New Roman.
- Use a font size of 12 or 14. Your name can be larger unless stated otherwise.
- Use CAPITAL LETTERS for section headings and emphasis.
- Make sure your name is the first item on the first line of your résumé. Your current address should be the second item on your résumé, including address, phone, e-mail, web address, and fax if applicable.
- Use common sense headings such as: Objective, Skills, Computer Skills, Experience, Activities, Course Work, Education.
- Make your resumé one to three pages unless otherwise specified. Make sure everything you include is relevant. Put your name, address, phone number, e-mail address and "Page 2" at the top of the second page.
- Strive for a simple, clear, and easy to read format.
- Print with a laser or other high-quality printer on white 8 1/2 x 11 inch resumé paper, using one side only.
- Designs using italics, underlining, shadows, and reverse printing. Avoid using boldface unless otherwise specified. Leave out all graphics such as bullets and lines. You can use asterisks*, plus signs +, dashes --, or numbers in place of bullets.
- Compressing or expanding space between letters or lines. Do not use full justification, kerning, or anything besides single or double spacing. Do not use a two column format.
- Do not double space within sections. Use dashes to separate sections if you wish.
- Do not staple or fold your résumé. Use a paper clip for multiple pages. If mailing, use a 9x12 inch envelope. If faxing, put the setting on fine mode.
- If you are given instructions from an employer which differ from these guidelines, follow them. Not all applicant tracking systems are the same. For example, some may not accept résumés that are more than one page. Oftentimes, companies give specific instructions for application procedures, with format guidelines, on their web sites.
You will use the Internet version of your résumé when you send it over e-mail and when you copy and paste it into Internet forms on company web sites or into online résumé banks. You will also want to maximize key words in your Internet résumé. Follow these additional guidelines to convert your scannable version to an Internet version.
First, here are the nuts and bolts to create the Internet résumé:
- Using SAVE AS, save your scannable résumé version under a new name, like webres.txt. This will now be your Internet résumé version.
- While in the SAVE AS screen, go to SAVE FILE AS TYPE and save your résumé in plain text, sometimes called ASCII, Text Only, or DOS text. This will be most widely accepted by all types of e-mail systems. Click OKAY.
- Reopen webres.txt. Highlight and copy the text.
- Open up a text editor, such as Notepad for Windows or Appletext for Macintosh.
- Paste the résumé text into the text editor and save it.
Now you can edit your résumé within the text editor. To edit your résumé, follow these guidelines:
DO...use the guidelines for a scannable résumé, with these additional format adjustments:
- Redo the spacing using the space bar rather than tabs.
- Limit each line to no more than 65 characters.
- You may use dashes to separate sections rather than spaces.
After you have edited and saved your Internet résumé, you can copy and paste it into the BODY of an e-mail* message. Send a cover letter with the résumé in the BODY of the same message. Do not send attachments. Use the space bar rather than tabs for your cover letter. If you are responding to a job that includes a job number, put the job number in the SUBJECT field of your message. Send yourself a test message to make sure the format is correct, before you send it to an employer. It is much easier to let mistakes slide by through e-mail -- proofread carefully before sending each message.
When posting your résumé to an online resumé bank, DO...
- Read all instructions, as they may vary slightly from one Internet job resource to the next.
- Leave one blank space after the colon on a form, before you begin your answer.
- Write a good résumé title. This piece of information goes on the subject line of your e- mail, and it is what employers see first when searching databases. Keep it to 45 or 50 characters and make a strong sales pitch. Ex: Dedicated and talented marketing major w/experience utilizing databases for your industry and level of experience.
- Protect your confidentiality. Find out if and how your name and contact information will be distributed. A good commercial database will not show contact information to employers until you give consent. Never include information like your social security number.
- Evaluate the site before posting your résumé. Make sure it is utilized by employers and other job seekers in your field. Be aware that some sites charge fees.
Electronic Résumé Resources Available For Check Out in Career Development :
- Electronic Job Search Revolution, Joyce Lain Kennedy and Thomas J. Morrow, 1994
- Electronic Résumé Revolution, Joyce Lain Kennedy and Thomas J. Morrow, 1995
- Electronic Resumés, James C. Gonyea and Wayne M. Gonyea, 1996
- The Job Hunter's Word Finder, James Bluemond, 1996
- "Electronic Résumé Revolution" by Joyce Lain Kennedy and Thomas J. Morrow, 1994
- "Electronic Job Search Revolution" by Joyce Lain Kennedy and Thomas J. Morrow, 1995
- "Electronic Résumés: A Complete Guide to Putting Your Resumé On-Line" by James C. Gonyea and Wayne M. Gonyea, 1996
- "Getting Hired: Scannable Résumés" Liberal Arts Career News, Vol. 98, Is. 6
- "No Attachments Please!" Computer Bits, http://www.computerbits.com/archive/9704/jobs9704.htm
- "The Online Job Application: Preparing Your Résumé for the Internet" The Riley Guide, http://www.dbm.com/ jobguide/resumé.html
- "Preparing the Ideal Scannable Résumé" by Resumix, http://www.resumix.com/resumé/resumé_tips.html, 1998
- "Why Employers Use Résumé Banks" by Clara Horvath, http://www.jobsmart.org/internet/resemp.htm, 1998