Once you have mastered the paper resume you can add plain text and hypertext resumes to your resources. On the Internet there are numerous opportunities to present your resume to potential employers. You can post your resume on newsgroups or in resume databases. You can send your resume directly through e-mail. You can even set up a professional web site using your resume information.
E-mail, newsgroups and most resume databases require you to format your resume in basic text. Plain text resumes have the advantage of being read by most computer programs and are easily transferred through electronic media. The major disadvantage is the loss of fancy formatting. The content of the resume should follow the same standards as a paper resume. Many plain text resumes will be managed in a database so special attention should be given to keywords. Targeting strategies should also be considered. Here are some general tips:
- Use capital letters for EMPHASIS, but not for the entire text. It is harder to read and is the electronic equivalent to yelling.
- Use white space to break up sections.
- Use asterisk (*) to bullet. However, be sure to put a space between the asterisk and the text.
- Keep sections short and concise.
- Include industry specific nouns (skill based keywords).
- Use action verbs to add emphasis; but use them sparingly.
- Vary the keywords. It is better to say the same thing three different ways than to use the same word repeatedly.
- Integrate keywords throughout the body of the resume.
- Keyword blocks should be short and consistent. Break up large blocks into sections.
- Use current language and industry buzz words.
- If you know the resume will be posted on a newsgroup or managed in a database then target it to the industry/occupation. Do not target it too narrowly or to a specific job. If the database belongs to a specific employer then target it to the employer.
- If the resume is being sent to an individual for a specific job then target it to that job.
Hypertext resumes take advantage of the features of the World Wide Web. They may include graphics, video, sound, hypertext links, direct e-mail and more. Some sites that post resumes require them to be formatted in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Many progressive job seekers are creating professional web sites which include their resume information. The cost to set up such a site can be reasonable. Many Internet service providers include space for a web page as part of their service package.
Creating hypertext documents, web sites and an Internet presence is an extensive topic. There are hundreds of resources on the Internet, in bookstores and in libraries to help you in this effort. Most of the major word processing programs have software additions that translate documents into HTML. There are software products on the market designed specifically for writing web pages. For more information and instruction on web authoring go to the Internet Instruction section of the Minnesota Workforce Center Internet Directory (http://www.des.state.mn.us/links/direct.htm).
A good hypertext resume should follow the publishing standards of the World Wide Web. It should also follow the basic standards of resume writing (with a few exceptions). Here are some general tips:
- If you have a personal web page, keep it separate from your professional web page. Personal information does not belong in your job search.
- Use graphics sparingly and only those that enhance your professional image. Be sure your resume is readable and attractive with the graphics turned off.
- Consider making your site more than just your paper resume on-line. Include more detail about your qualifications, work samples and accomplishments.
- A good home page should begin with a menu or table of contents. Your site should not jump right in to the body. It should capture the reader's interest and allow them to chose what they would like to view.
- If you chose to include pictures of yourself keep them professional. Place pictures in the body of the document, not on the home page, and give the reader the option to view them.
- How you use your resume is just as important as how it is written. Placing a web page resume on the Internet, hoping an employer will stumble on it, is like leaving your paper resume laying around in public places as a job search strategy. Actively refer your contacts to your web page. Include your Internet address in your paper cover letters and e-mail correspondence.
To view samples of personal web pages designed as a job search tool, go to your favorite search engine and search on the keyword "resume." You will find a wealth of samples to preview. Don't just look for people with the same experience and background as you have. Consider how they have created a professional presence using the tools of the web. A list of the major search engines can be found in the the Search Tools/Directories section of the Minnesota Workforce Center Internet Directory (http://www.des.state.mn.us/links/direct.htm).
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This page was last updated on April 17, 1997
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