Electronic Resumes | Guidelines
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GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW WHEN
CREATING A RESUME FOR THE INTERNET
When you sit down
to create your electronic résumé always remember, if résumés
were flavors and a computer could choose, the choice would definitely
be vanilla. Successful electronic résumés require a different
strategy than paper résumés.
For this reason try
to keep in mind the following points:
- To increase your
chances, focus on nouns, not verbs. Searches are done by key words and
phrases that describe the skills and core work required for each job.
consider "Supervised several staff" or "Manager of several
staff". Manager will stand out, where as supervised might be skipped
over. As the web site, Job Bank USA, puts it: "Computers have problems
with verbs and enjoy key words. What pleases a computer is likely to
bore a person." So keep thinking "Dear Computer..." and
just ignore how boring it sounds.
- Use labels or keywords.
Keywords are an extension of the noun concept and are also called buzzwords
or descriptors. Keywords are words employers search for when trying
to fill a position. They are the essential characteristics required
to do the job: education, experience, skills, knowledge and abilities.
The more keyword marketing points you present about yourself, the more
likely you are to be plucked from an electronic résumé
database now or in a year from now.
- Place the most
important keywords towards the beginning of the résumé.
The program may have a limit to the number of items it will scan for
and it usually starts at the top of the document.
- Put your name first
and contact information on a separate line.
- Keep your résumé
and cover letter to no more than 65 to 70 characters per line in case
those who read your résumé have different e-mail programs
and different sized screen widths.
- Keep the design
simple. Use white space. Computers like white space. They use it to
recognize that one topic has ended and another has begun.
- You can use modest
design elements. Highlight areas with asterisks and use capital letters
instead of underlining.
- When using bullets
in your ASCII résumé, make sure to insert a space between
each bullet and text so that the bullet doesn't interfere with a keyword
- Minimize use of
abbreviations, except the more common ones like BA (Bachelor of Arts).
- Use Common language.
Not all systems have a full-fledged synonym table so try to maximize
the "hits" between a position search and your résumé
by using words everyone knows. Do, however, maximize the use of industry