The rules have changed for the document that sells you on the Internet. The standard resume style that worked so well in the paper and pen world just isn’t good enough for today’s web-based job market.
Employers seeking applicants are rely heavily on computers to sort, categorize, and narrow their search for the right candidate.
In order to capitalize on this, it’s a good idea to rework your old resume to reflect the expectations of today’s technology.
First, let’s consider just how an employer will find you among the field of qualified applicants.
USE KEYWORDS TO GET NOTICED
If an employer is searching a database, they’ll most likely use keywords to narrow down the field. Keywords are primarily nouns, not verbs. Computers that scan resumes into a database use these keywords for sorting and categorizing.
For instance, let’s say that one of your accomplishments is “implemented inventory tracking and improved loss control procedures.” By thinking in terms of keywords, nouns and noun phrases, you can extend your resume’s life in a database and bring more hits from a search. Examples of keywords might be Inventory Management, Systems Analyst, or Total Quality Management.
DESIGNING YOUR RESUME
Your electronic resume should have the following characteristics:
1. Use standard fonts such as Helvetica, Times, or Courier. Keep font size between 10 to 14 point (avoid 10 point times). Keep 1/4″ between lines and do not condense letter spacing.
2. Do not use underlines, italics, colors, or other text enhancing styles (exception is bolding/capitalization as noted in #3).
3. Bold or capitalize section headings.
4. Use a single column format. Do not use borders, lines, indents, or centering.
5. Place your name at the top of the page on its own line.
6. Place your address below your name in standard 3 line format. List phone numbers individually on their own lines.
7. Save and Submit your online resume using ASCII text.
SAMPLE OUTLINE OF AN ELECTRONIC RESUME
Address Line 1
Address Line 2
Address Line 3
Most recent employment here.
Next line here.
MAKE YOUR RESUME STAND OUT!
There is nothing more frustrating for a recruiter than to look through a resume searching for a person’s familiarity with specific programs or applications.
If the employer can’t get through to the meat of the resume in under 10 seconds, eyes will glaze over and they will automatically go on to the next resume. So make it easy for an employer to see that you’ve got experience with Excel, LAN, C++, or whatever your skills may be.
An innovative way to do this is by placing your keywords in a SKILLS or AREAS OF EXPERTISE section at the top of the page. Who says your resume has follow the same cloned format everyone else uses?
These are simple, yet powerful, techniques to bring attention to your resume. So go ahead – redesign your resume and get results!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on small business and home-based work issues. He is the founder of HomeBizTools and the publisher of Straight Talk, a syndicated column that offers a unique perspective on today’s business issues.