February 2012

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

What Makes a Successful Resume?

Hint: Creating one is not as hard as you think.

What makes a successful resume? The simple answer is, one that gets you an interview. But what goes into that resume to make it stand out in the first place? How do you create a resume that grabs the attention of recruiters and employers?

There is more than one way for a resume to stand out in the pile. In fact, there are 2 categories of standouts: those that stand out for good reasons, and those that stand out for bad reasons. You, of course, want your resume to fall under the first category.

A surefire way to land in the bad pile is to do absolutely nothing toward updating your resume. For example, if you are still using the same resume template that you first used 10 years ago, it will end up in the bad standout pile (read: the round file) for sure.