First-time Internet Job-Hunter Needs Help with Electronic Resume Submission


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Cathy writes: For the first time in 23 years, I am conducting a job search that includes the Internet. I understand the importance of having a resume in text format to submit where requested. I am also hearing that most recruiters, employers, etc. prefer resumes now be submitted electronically. Is this true?  Maybe it’s the old-fashioned marketer in me, but my tendency is to search the web for jobs and then send my resume the traditional way by mail so I can differentiate by different fonts, paper style, appearance-related factors. Could this be working against me?   If so, even when I am asked to attach my resume as a Word document, I fear that various PCs will alter formats, fonts and spacing — so it’s back to the plain Jane text, or is it?  
  The Career Doctor responds: While I totally agree with you about the power of print resumes, I have to sadly state that their influence in job-hunting is definitely on the decline. Job-seekers will still need these documents for job fairs, interviews, and a direct-mail campaign, but because the Internet has so dramatically changed how we search and apply for jobs, you know need to focus on having a text resume. Employers want text resumes — especially electronic versions (submitted online or via email) — because they can easily deposit every resume into a massive database and then use keywords to search and find the resumes that most match their needs. Text resumes are almost completely void of any style — and when printed, they look pretty ugly. So, not only are resume formats changing, but so is the content. As you work on your electronic resume, you must be focused on keyword and keyword phrases for your occupation and industry. Where we often avoided industry jargon in the past, now we embrace it. Of course, accomplishments are still extremely important, but you must now also try to phrase them the way you think a hiring manager might conduct a resume database search. One final thought, though. I always recommend — when possible — to follow-up an emailed resume with a formatted resume sent through the mail. I think job-seekers who use this combination approach have an edge over those who do not. Read more about electronic resumes in this article on Quintessential Careers: The Top 10 Things You Need to Know about E-Resumes and Posting Your Resume Online. And for a quick review of resume-writing, you might want to review this article: Avoid These 10 Resume Mistakes.