Feature: An Internet-Ready Resume

Feature: An Internet-Ready Resume

Feature: An Internet-Ready Resume

You can stop licking those stamps. According to a 2003 survey by Office Team, a California-based staffing firm, almost half of all U.S. employers now prefer to receive applicant resumes via the Internet. That’s up from 4% just three years ago. While forcing you to submit your resume a certain way is not the smartest move for employers hoping to attract high caliber employees, the fact is that they’re doing it. So, it’s important that you know how to send a resume online and what you must do to ensure that it arrives with its content intact.

Resumes travel over the Internet as e-mail. They can be included in the body of an e-mail message or attached to it. However, many employers and recruiters do not open e-mail with attachments because computer viruses are also transmitted that way. They quickly hit the Delete button rather than take a chance. Therefore, always send your resume as the text of an e-mail message unless an employer specifically states, on its Web-site or in its job posting, that it will accept resumes sent as attachments.

Unfortunately, however, crafting your resume as an e-mail message is not quite as simple as it sounds. You see, the people who invented e-mail weren’t the same people who invented the word processing systems we use to compose our resumes. Crazy as it sounds, they took different approaches in their designs: the e-mail mavens set the margins on e-mail messages at about 65 characters, while the word processing people set the margins on the documents their systems produce at 115 characters or so. As a result, they created two technologies that are not compatible with each other … unless you make them so.

The first step in embedding your resume in an e-mail message is to eliminate all of the document’s formatting. E-mail technology cannot accommodate the centering, paragraphing, bolding and other “eye friendly” features applied to your resume by your word processing system. You can easily remove them, however, by using the “Save As” function on your computer and creating a second version of your resume in ASCII text or Rich Text Format. (Simply select either of those options in the drop-down window that appears when you click on the “Save As” button.) Once that’s done, proofread the document carefully to be sure that no information was garbled or inadvertently eliminated in the re-formatting process.

You’ll then have to make two other changes to prepare your document for its journey in e-mail:

  • First, remove any business or higher mathematical symbols from the document. Currently, e-mail technology can interpret and reproduce only the characters that appear on your computer keyboard. Such symbols as the copyright mark and the divided-by sign are unintelligible to e-mail systems.
  • Second, change the margins of your resume to 65 characters in width (counting each letter and space) and end each line with a hard carriage break (i.e., by hitting the “Enter” button). Because e-mail messages have narrower margins than word processed documents, it’s important that you protect your document from two potential problems: the e-mail system’s habit of (1) dropping the content of any line that exceeds its margins or, worse, (2) cutting the content off and sticking it somewhere else in your resume. In either case, the result is a document that arrives at the employer’s end as cyberspace junk, rather than the legible record of your employment.

    Once you’ve made those adjustments, your resume is Internet-ready. All you have to do to send it off to an employer is copy it into the body of an e-mail message. This process, which is also known as “cutting and pasting,” involves the following five steps:

    Step 1: Hold down the left button on your computer’s mouse and highlight your entire resume.

    Step 2: Hold down the “Ctrl” button on your computer keyboard and simultaneously press the “c” button.

    Step 3: Open your e-mail program and start a new e-mail message.

    Step 4: Click your mouse in the body of the message form and then hold down the “Ctrl” button on your keyboard and simultaneously press the “v” button.

    Step 5: Address your message, identify the position for which you are applying in the “Subject” line or simply enter “The Resume of Jane Doe,” and send it off.

    One final word of caution. If you decide to send your resume to a recruitment site for inclusion in its resume database (whether it’s HotJobs.com, Dice.com or the site maintained by your professional association), always date the document. Resumes in public databases are often copied and re-copied by other sites, so there’s no knowing where your resume will end up. Dating the document, however, will avoid any embarrassment later, when your employer finds that old resume out there on the Net.

    Thanks for reading,


    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    Manpower, Inc. released the results of their poll to determine which sectors of the economy are likely to be hiring in the 3rd Quarter. The survey covered 16,000 employers nationwide and found that, on average, one-in-five organizations (20%) expect to add employees. That’s unchanged from last quarter, but up almost 200% from a year ago. Which sectors forecasted better-than-average hiring? At the top were Wholesale & Retail Trades and Services, followed by Mining, Construction, Durable Goods Manufacturing, and Nondurable Goods Manufacturing. How can this information help you? Do some research online to identify the employers in your location in these growth industries; then, visit their Web-sites to determine which of the organizations seem like a good fit for you. Finally, apply for any openings your selected group has posted and network to find contacts in their HR Department and/or among their hiring managers.

    The Meta Group surveyed employers and found that most pay their IT employees more than other employees in the organization. An astonishing 76% of the companies in the study reported paying IT professionals with critical skills (i.e., wireless, security, data management) as much as 20% more than the norm for those in other fields. It’s not just that they have key skills, however, but that those skills are in very short supply. In fact, according to the Information Technology Association of America, between June, 2002 and June, 2003, the U.S. created 1.1 million new IT jobs, of which 500,000 could not be filled. Why? Because too many IT professionals had let their skill sets lapse. In other words, if you want to be paid at the top end of the scale, make sure (a) your field is viewed as essential to business success in today’s global marketplace and (b) your skills are at the state-of-the-art in your field.

    MSNBC reported that online scam artists are targeting job sites and those who respond to the ads posted there. In their most recent incarnation, overseas criminal groups pose as companies selling products and services in the U.S.-sometimes on eBay-who also hire collection agents to accept and forward payments to them. Unfortunately, the products and services never materialize, and the agents collecting the payments are then guilty of fraud. Although the number of people duped into such schemes is very small in comparison to the total population using job boards today, even one victim is too many. How can you protect yourself? The MSNBC report suggests the following: Never (a) give personal bank account, PayPal or credit card numbers to an employer; (b) agree to have funds or paychecks direct deposited to any of your accounts by a new employer; (c) forward, transfer, or “wire” money to an employer; (d) transfer money and retain a portion as payment; or (e) provide any non-work related personal information (i.e., social security number, eye color, marital status) over the telephone or online.

    VetJobs.com and The Herman Group have released a Red Alert Employment Advisory with some very interesting insights on today’s job market. We all want to find our dream job where we live, but that is sometimes just not possible. In fact, there are certain parts of the country where jobs are more plentiful than in others. Indeed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, just over one-quarter of the metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. now have an unemployment rate of less than 4%. Every one of these spots is a seller’s market when it comes to landing a new or better job and, thus, may represent an attractive place to live. What are some of these “hot spots of hiring?” They include Bryan-College Station, Texas; Columbia, Missouri; Charlottesville, Virginia; Athens, Georgia; Bismarck, North Dakota; Fort Walton Beach, Florida; Enid, Oklahoma; Madison, Wisconsin; Bloomington, Indiana; and Portland, Maine.

    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?

    1. If you’re a development manager with experience in fundraising for not-for-profit organizations, which of the following sites would expand the reach of your appeal?

  • DevNetJobs.org
  • Philanthropy.com
  • OneWorld.net
  • DevZone.org
  • 2. You’ve built a solid track record as a Director of Plant Operations for an employer in the northeast, but now, you want to relocate to a warmer climate. Which of the following sites would help to streamline your job search?

  • FacilitiesJobs.com
  • PlantPeople.com
  • OperationsPro.com
  • PlantWorks.com
  • 3. Your employer has just announced an unexpected downsizing, and you need to find a new job fast. If you’ve been a buyer in a corporate purchasing department, which of the following sites would be the best deal for you?

  • BestBuyer.com
  • GreatBuyers.com
  • TopB.com
  • American-Purchasing.com
  • (answers below)

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2004 Guides and Directories

    NationJob Network


    A WEDDLE’s 2004 User’s Choice Award Winner

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – All

    Distribution of jobs: National: USA

    Number of jobs: 25,000

    Salary levels of jobs: Not Reported

    Offer a job agent: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    How long are resumes stored: Indefinitely

    Restrictions on who can post: No

    Other services for job seekers: Career and job search information, Links to other sites, Confidentiality feature in resume database

    Answers to Site Insite

    1. All of the sites would be helpful to you.

    2. Only FacilitiesJobs.com would be useful; the other sites do not post jobs.

    3. Only American-Purchasing.com, the site of the American Purchasing Society; the other sites do not post jobs.