March 9, 2017
To seek out and apply for the jobs you are interested in, you will most likely post your profile and resume on a job search website, such as monster.com or hotjobs.com. These search engines allow you to upload your resume in a Microsoft Word or text file format, or create one using their forms. However, it is a bad idea to upload your resume to these job sites, as you will have all your content and resume design ideas stolen by internet trolls searching for good resume content and designs for their resume. Better to write a 4 or 5-paragraphh about your professional history and competencies for the prospective talent scout. You’re also giving out a lot of personal information to the public. Be careful where you post your resume. Most people don’t get a job from these sites. Uploading your resume and cover letter to the hiring sections of regular companies is fine, as they do not post your resume publicly as the job site websites.
Outside of the job search websites, e-mailing your resume as a form of application has become commonplace. However, each employer or headhunter has different rules on the file they will accept via e-mail. Most companies will allow an attachment in Microsoft Word, but PDF is a much better file format to email to prospective employers as it does not lose formatting like WORD. Email WORD files only as a last resort. You have to be conscious of the font type and size, as well as margins you are using when composing your resume.
If a company is requesting a text file, you should follow these steps to convert your Microsoft Word document into a text resume:
– Select File, Save As
– Name the file; as a best practice, use your name as the file name, and use underscores as spaces
– Under Format, select Text Only
You can also create a Text file by opening your PDF and copying and pasting the content into Notepad or onto the company’s website.
Now that you have converted your file to a text file, you will notice that you have lost all formatting of fonts, paragraphs, margins and bullets, which is normal in Text format. Some website requires only Text files to make the scanning of the content easier for their search bots. Note that the plain text file doesn’t allow for bolding, italicizing or underlining.
If an employer asks you to include your resume in the body of an email, just copy and paste your whole resume in an email. You will lose the formatting of your resume and cover letter, but this is alright.
If you are sending your resume as an attachment, format the body of your email as a cover letter. At the top of the email, include your name and address, as well as the name of your recipient. Typically, the address can be found either on the job listing or at the company’s website. If you are sending the resume in the body of the email, follow the same guidelines regarding the email content. Don’t make an assumption that including a resume in the body of an email is the only information you should include in your message to your potential employer.
Even if you copy the resume into the email, you still need to let your employer know a little bit more about yourself via a cover letter. However, since you will include your address at the top of the email, feel free to start your resume with a career objective instead of adding the heading with your name and address.
Just as important as proofing your resume, testing how your resume appears in a body of an email or how it opens as an attachment via another computer is important. Rally your friends or family for help, and send them sample emails with your resume included in the body of the message or as an attachment, which will provide an excellent opportunity for you to assure that your resume is reaching your potential employers in the format that is clean and professional. And the only format that is consistent across all platforms are PDF files. Word loses formatting from one system to another and can arrive looking pretty ragged. Again, only use Word files as a last resort if the recipient will only accept this format – otherwise, always PDF.