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Writing the Right Resume:

How to prepare online versions of your resume.

Applying for jobs on the world wide web is the new normal in job- seeking, and you need to have a web-ready resume on hand at all times. A Microsoft Word resume is a definite standard among companies when emailing your resume in an attachment file. Remember that Word will save your document in a read-only format so that once received, your resume will look as you intended. However, to really avoid any  accidental overwrite errors by all those who open and handle your resume, a PDF file is best. Once you save your resume as a PDF, it cannot be changed or opened for editing.

Another consideration is an online job application at a company’s website. If you are applying online, a plain text box will likely be offered as the method for transmitting your resume. In this context, your resume will be stripped of all formatting and will only contain simple text.

This requires some basic changes to your resume. Consider preparing a resume in your word processor that is free from all formatting except paragraphs, line dashes, and all caps –or block words, to highlight your resume’s sections.

Understand that this resume will appear to its viewers in a flush-left format. You may have a “SKILLS” or “SUMMARY” section in your formatted Microsoft resume that is centered with bullets and that uses bold. This will be irrelevant in the plain text editor box that you must now cut and paste into on the company website.

Replace these formatted sections with one paragraph underneath the all-caps “SKILLS” that incorporates all your skill words separated by commas. *TIP: Once stored in the applicant database, this resume will be searchable by keywords. Take this opportunity to incorporate some skill words that are primary to the position, or even to the company itself.

Here is an example:

SKILLS

Creative team management in copywriting, storyboarding, cross-channel marketing, messaging, branding, sell sheets, advertorials, visual communications, brand creation, brand recognition copywriting, packaging, and POS design.

If your keywords for this position are “branding” and “copywriting,” be sure to include these words under your EXPERIENCE section in each past job description. Your experience sections can look something like this:

EXPERIENCE

Freelance Designer, 2008 to 2010

- In this position, I launched and grew a graphic design company, amassing a list of clients that included major ad agencies, stock clip art sites, and companies of all sizes. Brand recognition through visual design and copywriting achieved client growth in sales, site traffic, and other benchmarks. My freelance portfolio can be found at (www.somedomain.com)

Although you will not be able to utilize html within the plain text box, you can overcome such limitations by listing any reference sites parenthetically as in the above example.

Remember to focus on putting your best foot forward, and as always, good luck!