By far, youll find that the most requested format for your traditional resume is MS Word. If you comply with the request, be aware that your formatting may be incompatible with the recipients system. While usually still readable, fonts and bullet sizes and styles may be different from what you intended. These problems can be minimized, although not always eliminated, by embedding the fonts into the document. This is a simple process, and the MS Word help files will guide you through it. You should also take care, while writing and designing your resume, to use design elements that are default and standard on most systems. For example, it is not wise to use a fancy, custom font on your resume that you know will be emailed. Default fonts such as Garamond, Helvetica, Book Antiqua, or Verdana are better choices.
How do you use these file formats and transit them to recipients via email? My recommendation is to actually attach the MS Word or Adobe PDF file to the email in its native file format. Then, ALSO copy and paste the text of your ASCII text resume into the body of your email (where you would normally type a message), along with a letter of introduction or other note explaining why you are sending the resume.
This technology presents some risks for you as a potential job candidate, so you must understand how they work. Many of these so-called applicant tracking systems do not recognize items in table format, text boxes, or other graphical elements. They are very text based. Therefore, you should avoid embedding anything important into graphical elements such as text boxes or tables to make sure they are not missed by these applicant tracking systems.
A final type of electronic resume is the web resume, also known as the online resume. Created using HTML, your web resume may be uploaded to space provided by a web-hosting provider. Eliminating the compatibility problems associated with word-processed resumes sent as e-mail attachments, web resumes offer the advantage of maintaining layout and design on the systems of anyone with a web browser. Available for viewing around the clock, conveying a technology-savvy image, and allowing the ability to add supporting content to your resume (effectively creating an online portfolio promoting your qualifications), web resumes are becoming a progressively important tool in the job search. The creation of a web resume or resume portfolio is far beyond the scope of this article, but if web resumes are an electronic format that interest you, be aware that many service providers have begun offering web resume design and hosting at affordable prices.
Text resumes (also referred to as ASCII resumes) are just what the name implies, an ASCII-formatted version of either your traditional or scannable resume. Text resumes are universally readable on all computer systems and platforms and are the preferred format when you are emailing your resume. An ASCII resume received in email can be entered directly into an applicant tracking system without the added step of needing to scan it. Entry into the system is fast, easy, and accurate and so many employers and recruiters prefer this format.
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