Some companies won't even consider you for a position if you
don't post your resume online.
To put your best foot forward in the electronic age, you have
to learn how to write an electronic resume. That means ditching
action verbs in favor of keyword nouns, trading pretty fonts in
for Courier, and taking out tabs to put in spaces.
Why post online?
Most employers, especially in high tech and related
industries, are looking for candidates online. Some companies
won't even consider you for a given position if you don't
post your resume online. They view a faxed resume as a sign
that you're not comfortable with email, computers, or the
Web. On the positive side, posting your resume online will
get your resume in the door and on the right desk as quickly
and efficiently as possible. And you don't have to limit
yourself to one page!
Where you can post online
Posting a text resume
These days, there are online resume banks just about
everywhere you look. There are also sites that are
essentially databases of resumes -- making your search for
the right site a little easier (check out The Riley
Guide). Most resume databases invite job seekers to post
resumes for free, so avoid sites that charge a fee--there's
no reason to pay for something you can get for free
How to post a resume online
Most of the time, when you post a resume online, you fill
out several fields, such as name, address, phone number,
email address. Then you paste the bulk of your resume into a
big scrolling text box. Most sites require you to paste only
plain text, also called "ASCII" (or American Standard Code
for Information Interchange). Some allow you to paste HTML,
which can make for a spiffier-looking end product if you know
what you're doing.
When you're pasting plain text into a text box, make sure to
follow these guidelines:
Don't use any special characters or symbols, such as smart
quotes or mathematical symbols.
Left justify everything in your resume.
If you must indent, don't use tabs; use spaces instead.
Put in a hard break at the end of every line; don't let
words wrap to the next line.
Use Courier, if possible, and no other fonts.
Save your document as a text file (plain text, RTF, or
Spell check your resume before you save it. Proofread it
after you paste it.
Posting an HTML resume
If possible, write the HTML yourself using a simple text
editor like Notepad. HTML editors sometimes introduce tags
that aren't recognized by resume databases. Make sure you put
the tag at the beginning of your document and the tag at the
end of your document. If you include hyperlinks or images in
your document, make sure you include the whole name of the
link--http://www.experience.com/experience/overview, not just
experience/overview. This is called using "absolute," rather
than "relative," references.
How to write an online resume
You've probably been told a million times to use good action
verbs in your printed resume. Throw that advice out when you
go to write your online resume. The most important thing you
can do for yourself when you're writing a resume that you
plan to post online is to use really good keywords--most of
which are nouns, not verbs. Know the keywords that go with
your industry. Also brainstorm as many synonyms as possible.
For example, if you're interested in marketing, make sure you
include "advertising, PR, public relations, communications,
marcom" and other words that will help your resume pop up in
an online search. Think like your future employer!
Don't lie or exaggerate
Even though keywords are, well, key, you don't want to
misuse them. If you create multiple online resumes using
different keywords, you're going to get caught--and employers
will feel as if you don't know what you want to do with your
career. Also, don't put in skills you don't have,
particularly technical skills. While you may know just a
little bit of Java, that doesn't necessary mean you should
include that keyword in your resume.
Remember, your employer can view resume sites just like
anyone else, so you are at risk for having your job search
exposed. Every resume site has a different policy about how
long your resume will stay posted once it's up. Make sure you
know how long it is, and take it down as soon as you've found
a new job. Also, resumes have a way of staying on the Web for
much longer than they were ever intended to be there. It's
possible that a resume that you posted a long time ago could
come back to haunt you, even once you're safely at your new
To protect yourself when posting your resume online, Fortune
magazine offered this advice: date your resume (just in case
it lands on your boss' desk two years from now); include a
legend that forbids unauthorized transmission by headhunters;
keep your resume off Usenet groups; and always ask a site's
policy on distributing resumes before you post.