Tips For Electronic Resumes

Your job hunt should never consist solely of submitting your resume to the online job boards.  You need to be out there in the real world networking with real people. 

But you do still need to know how to format your resume so it can be submitted online and/or be scanned. 

Hence, here are a dozen tips, gathered from here and there:

1.  Guess what, for electronic resumes you no longer have to worry about that old one-page rule.  If fact, be too short and you may appear underqualified.  Make your resume as long as it needs to be.

2.  Forget fluffy terms like “results oriented,” “goal-driven,” “excellent communications skills,” “multitasker,” “team player,” etc.  Resume software doesn’t look for words like these.  It looks for skills, certifications, and job titles.

3.  To convey those skills, use nouns rather than verbs.  Say “software engineer” instead of “engineered software for blah blah blah.”  Include certifications, courses you’ve taken, any applicable training. 

4.  Don’t bother including a career objective.  Really, no one cares.  And it takes up valuable space.

5.  Hard copies should be designed to be scannable and be printed clearly on bright white paper.  Mail them flat in a big envelope.  No folding, no staples.

6.  If you’re submitting online, format in a text file, not as a Word document (or even as HTML).

7.  No column or table formats.  Everything should be on its own line.

8.  Use common fonts (Times Roman, Courier, Helvetica) in a normal size (11 to 14).

9.  Only left margin justification (the right margin should be “rag right”).

10.  No boxes, shadows, shading, graphics, underlines, italics, horizontal or vertical lines, or colors.

11.  No bullets.  Asterisks are a reasonable substitute.

12.  No hard returns.

That’s what WG found, in a quickie Google search for “electronic resumes.”  Any other suggestions?

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