By James B Crocker

In this modern age of online job boards, job postings, online company career sites, and email, it is common to submit at least half of your outgoing resumes electronically. Here are some of the rules you should follow when creating your electronic resumes:

1. Be aware of formatting issues

Most electronic resumes are uploaded in plain text. This means that all of the fancy formatting techniques that you used like bold, italics, underlining, and bullet points, will no longer appear formatted. It is a good idea to use a basic font, and preview or email the plain text resume to yourself prior to submitting it to a potential employer. That way, you can make changes before it is sent to your target audience. Here are some additional recommendations that will not be affected by the change in format:

* Instead of using bold headings, use all UPPERCASE letters.
* Create bullet points by using stars* or dashes, instead of the formatted bullet points.
* Make sure to save a copy of your resume in plain text or Notepad format.

2. Include your cover letter as part of your email to a potential employer and add your resume as an attached Word Document

Make sure that as soon as you type “please find my attached resume” that you actually attach you resume to the email. There is nothing more embarrassing or unprofessional than having to send a second email with your resume, and apologizing for forgetting to attach your resume to the first email.

3. Make sure to check the job sites’ policies before posting your resume

Most of the big-name job sites are very trust worthy and pose no threat to posting your resume with them. However, some of the smaller job sites will “blast” your resume out to all of the hottest job boards. You really do not want a job site to be blasting your resume and personal contact information out to the entire world.

4. Make sure to follow up with a phone call to ensure that the person received your resume

Because spam filters are so abundant these days, it is appropriate to wait about a week after emailing your resume to a company, then follow up with a quick email or phone call to make sure that your resume was received. However, do not get upset if the company does not reply to your message, and do not continue to contact the company after the first follow up contact. Given the flood of resumes, it is not likely that a recruiter will be able to respond to every email or phone call.

5. Make sure that your profiles on social networks are professional

Many employers are using the Internet to aid them in making decisions about who they hire. Resumes are frequently not the only screening tool that companies use, since there is so much information available on Google, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. Social networking sites can be very valuable tools for your job search and your career. Social networking sites can be used advantageously to connect with colleagues, and potential employers. On the other hand, in the same way that you may seek out potential employers online, companies are using social networking sites to learn about you, as well. Make sure that all of the information relating to your interests, photos, and personal information presents you in a professional manner. Having photos and stories about your trip to Vegas, where you got “so wasted” would likely leave a very unflattering impression with a potential employer.

James Crocker is the Owner and CEO of Casual Robot Media. He writes informative articles to aid job seekers with tips for job searching, cover letter writing tips, resume writing tips, tips on professional networking, tips for interviewing, and tips for getting promotions on his website http://employmentgenius.com/

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