by David Alan Carter -

A briefcase full of pretty resumes won’t get you far in today’s job search. While you’re out traveling from one company to the next, knocking on doors with paper in hand, your competitors are running rings around you electronically. You need to join them – sending your resume out over the internet, via email and online forms. To do so, you need to have your electronic resume formatted for such.

Electronic Resumes – 3 Formats You Need To Have

1) Word Document. The fully-embellished word-processed resume still rules. Plain text formats gave it a run for it’s money in the past few years. But as resume screening software improves and human eyes tire of reading plain text, your fully-formatted resume in MS Word is being embraced in more and more email correspondence.

With one cautionary note. In the interest of security, many such attachments won’t be opened for fear of a virus. Call or email the HR department or your corporate contact person to find out the preferred method of getting a resume to their computer screen. Ask simply if you can send your resume as an attachment, in Word for example. If it’s impractical to pose the question, or you’re responding to an ad with no clear direction, go with plan B – send your resume as both a Word attachment and a plain text version as part of the email itself.

2) ASCII Format. This is the plain-text file version of the fully-formatted Word document. Keep it handy. You’ll need it for those occasions when email attachments are not allowed, for pasting onto Web forms (for example, on job boards and when applying directly to job listings on corporate websites), and when responding via email to an employer who requests a plain text resume only. In the latter cases, simply copy and paste your ASCII resume onto the body of your email.

3) PDF Format. The “Portable Document Format” (PDF) from Adobe Systems has become the defacto standard for printable documents on the Web, and is an increasingly common format for email resume attachments. It allows the sender to forward a fully-formatted resume (stylized graphics, attractive fonts, etc.) independent of it’s application software.

Depending upon which version of Word you’re working with, you should be able to convert your Word resume to PDF right on your own computer – although you might have to download an “add-in” from Microsoft (i.e.”Microsoft Save as PDF” for 2007 Microsoft Office Programs). If your computer balks, you can find sources on the Web to help. For a free and simple conversion, consider www.pdfonline.com On their home page, click the heading “Free PDF Services” and follow the instructions. You’ll basically be uploading your fully-formatted Word or WordPerfect resume, and receiving a PDF version from them, sent to you as an email attachment.

Your Electronic Resume – Good To Go

Prepare these three electronic resume formats ahead of the need, so you can be ready at a moment’s notice to fire one off in response to a job listing – or a nod from a hiring official.

“By the way, some Professional Resume Writers can set you up with all three electronic resume formats,” says former recruiter David Alan Carter. “The better services also understand how to work with keywords to ensure your e-resume will pop up in database searches.” Carter has put together Resume Service Reviews of the Web’s most popular writers at the website TopResumeServices.com, reviewing quality of workmanship, spelling out their pricing, and giving each a star ranking.


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