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Sometimes the simplest ways are best — and creating a straightforward resume in plain text format (aka “TXT format”) can help you in a variety of job application situations, including submitting your resume through on online form, or in an email. Follow these guidelines and use our professionally formatted templates to create a text resume that will look its best.

Text Resume Formatting Tips

Keep these major formatting tips in mind when creating a text resume. You can also create a free text resume using our builder, and we’ll take care of the formatting for you.

PHILIP FOSTER

Pittsburgh, PA
Cell: (555) 555-5555
E-Mail: example@example.com

Experienced Restaurant Manager bringing demonstrated success in developing and motivating strong restaurant teams capable of handling over 200 customers hourly. Keeps all areas clean and sanitized while managing inventory and preventing waste. Consistent career history of operations improvement, team building and revenue increases.

March 2014 to Current

Outback Steakhouse – Pittsburgh, PA

Restaurant Manager

  • Reduced labor costs by 17% percent while maintaining excellent service and profit levels
  • Managed a 7-person team of cooks and back of house staff and a team of 8 front house staff for a busy steakhouse restaurant
  • Continuously evaluated business operations to effectively align workflows for optimal area coverage increasing customer satisfaction rating by 80%

December 2010 to February 2014

TGI Fridays – Pittsburgh, PA Assistant

Restaurant Manager

  • Reduced restaurant’s annual food and labor costs by 15% through proper budgeting, scheduling and management of inventory
  • Kept restaurant compliant with all federal, state and local hygiene and food safety regulations which kept food safety score between 95-100 every inspection
  • Coordinated kitchen stations with managers to cut down on customer wait times by 50%

July 2007 to November 2010

BJ’s Restaurants, Inc – Pittsburgh, PA

Restaurant Team Leader

  • Assisted customers in placing special orders for large-scale events such as corporate events and birthday parties
  • Recruited and hired over 10 employees offering talent, charisma and experience to restaurant team
  • Pitched in to help host, waitstaff and bussers during exceptionally busy times such as dinner hour
  • Conflict resolution techniques
  • Performance improvement
  • Staff management
  • Service-oriented
  • Trained in performance and wage reviews
  • Business operations
  • Inventory control and record keeping
  • Marketing and advertising

Park Point University Pittsburgh, PA

Bachelor of Arts Hospitality Management

1

Use fixed-width fonts. If you’re creating your text resume in a standard word-processing app like Microsoft Word, use a fixed-width font (also known as a monospaced font) so each character uses the same amount of space — this results in a more professional-looking resume. You should also keep your font at a standard size (10 or 12) throughout. Some fixed-width fonts you can use include Consolas, Courier, DejaVu Sans Mono, Lucida Console, Monaco and Prestige Elite. For a more complete list of monospaced fonts, see this Wikipedia page.

2

Don’t use italics, bold font or underlining for your text. These won’t show up when you save your resume in text format. You can use all caps for a section title (i.e., “WORK HISTORY”) but otherwise keep your text unadorned.

3

Don’t use bullet points or any special symbols. In place of bullets, use standard text characters such as plus symbols (+), asterisks (*) or hyphens. Also be on the lookout for “smart” (or curly) quotes, and replace them with straight quotes. If you want to create “dividers” between sections, use a simple symbol such as = or -, and repeat it several times, such as: ==================

4

Aim for 60 characters per line. Research indicates that people are most comfortable reading documents where lines are around 60 characters long. NO lines more than about six inches long (that’s about 60 characters, in 10-pt type)Limiting your lines to 60 characters also ensures that your resume can be easily read under most circumstances. To keep things simple, just create dividers between sections that are 60 characters long (as in our example), and then make sure that your text stays within those boundaries. An easy way to double-check your line length is to open your document in a text editor (such as Notepad) and “stretch” your window horizontally. If your text runs past the 60-character limit, you’ll need to add more line breaks to make sure everything fits.

5

Use spaces and hard line breaks. Using the tab key or “soft” line breaks (i.e., holding down the shift button while hitting “enter”) can mess up your formatting. Just use individual spaces in organizing your information, and hard breaks (i.e., just hitting the “enter” key) for line breaks.

The Pros and Cons of a Plain Text Resume

PROS
  1. Since text documents don’t use any special formatting, they can be easily read, even by applicant tracking systems (ATSs).
  2.  Compared to documents created by word processing programs, there’s also less chance of viruses getting into a plain text document.
  3. The small file size of a text document makes it easy to attach to or include in the body of an email.
CONS:
  1. Since a plain text resume lacks formatting, it’s more difficult to make it stand out.
  2. If you’ve created a resume in another format (like Microsoft Word or PDF), saving it in text format can result in some messy formatting which requires work to fix.
  3. When creating a text document, you must be careful about spacing, fonts and line breaks, or your document can look disjointed.

Create a Text Resume Using Our Builder

Our Resume Builder helps you build a text version of your resume, for free. Using the Builder gives you these advantages:

  • We’ll take care of all the formatting for you, so you’ll get a readable resume every time.
  • We provide expert suggestions to help you fill out each section of your resume, for every kind of job title.
  • You can save your work at any time and return to it, or easily create different resumes to address different job opportunities.

3 Keys for a Standout Text Resume

They call them text resumes for a reason — without any fancy formatting or layouts, you have to rely on your text to make a strong impression. Follow these tips when creating your own resume.

  • Energize your text with action verbs. Because you can’t fall back on a fancy layout, you need to grab the reader’s attention with how you present your accomplishments. Here are our tips for pumping up your resume with action verbs.
  • Know what to emphasize. Even if you don’t have the fancy bells and whistles of resumes in other formats, you can make your resume stand out by drawing attention to your most important attributes. If you’re inexperienced in your industry but can show off skills crucial for job success, place your skills section up top under your summary. If you have ample work history that demonstrates your expertise, devote the bulk of your resume to your experience. As we note above, use simple symbols and capitalization to set off sections, and highlight important headers.
  • Keywords are key. Since a plain text resume is all about words, make the words in your resume work for you. Look through the job description for key terms and phrases that the position requires, and incorporate them into appropriate sections. If a primary job task is “independent technical review of documentation,” note that you’re “experienced in independent technical review of documentation” in your summary. If “complaint resolution” is an important quality for the job, include “complaint resolution” under your skills list.

Text Resume FAQ

  • Why use a plain text resume?For security reasons, some companies prefer to receive resumes in plain text format, such as in the body of an email, rather than as an attachment. Other jobs will require you to enter your resume in a website form. For these situations, It’s a good rule of thumb to have at least one version of your resume ready to go in plain text format.
  • How do I create a plain text document?If you’re using a PC, go to your desktop screen, right click your mouse, and select New > Text Document. A blank text document will open up for you, ready for input. If you’re using a Mac, Find TextEdit in your Applications folder, launch the program, click the “Format” menu and select “Make Plain Text.” You’re now ready to create your own resume.
  • How do you save a Microsoft Word document in plain text?If you already have a version of your resume in Microsoft Word, create a text version of your document by going to File > Save As. On the save screen, choose the “Plain Text (*.txt)” format. Then open the new text document in a simple text editor, such as Notepad on a PC or TextEdit on a Mac. You’ll likely need to reformat much of your resume, so be sure to follow our tips above when doing so. Check for symbols that inadvertently changed during conversion, remove tabs and bullets and replace with spaces and safe symbols such as “+” and “-”, and use hard breaks between lines.
  • What is the difference between plain text and “rich” text? Rich Text Format (RTF) is a file format that can be read by different apps, but it’s different from text format (TXT) in that you can add certain stylings to your text, such as colors, bolding, and italics. While plain text documents look the same no matter what word processing app you open them up in, RTF documents can look different when read in different programs. When you’re requested to submit a plain text document, make sure you don’t get create a rich text document by mistake.
  • How do I get rid of formatting in Word? If you’re working from an existing resume in Microsoft Word, a simple foolproof way to change it into a text document within Word is to clear all the formatting from your document. Highlight the text from which you want to remove formatting, then click Edit > Clear > Clear Formatting. You can now edit and save the document as a text document, making sure to use the guidelines we’ve outlined above.Plain Text: Plain text contains no formatting, only line breaks and spacing. Therefore no text formatting (such as font sizes and colors, bolding or italics) can be used.
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