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Online Resumes - Do's and Don'ts

By Anna Jones

Technology has not only changed the way we do business -- it has also dramatically changed the way we hunt for jobs. Why bother driving around town, running from business to business to drop off your resume, when you can canvas the world with a click of your computer mouse?

Why go to the trouble -- and the expense -- of calling numerous companies to inquire about openings when you can find many vacant positions advertised online?
Since much job-hunting these days is done by means of the computer, it only makes sense that job-seekers would want to post and transmit their resumes online. It can be time-efficient, convenient, and cheap, making it a job-hunter's dream. Yet, as you might expect, there are certain dos and don'ts associated with online resumes.

Do E-Mail Resumes When You Can

In the majority of cases, e-mailing a resume simply makes the most sense. It's a way to get your resume immediately to a human resources manager or a corporate executive's assistant. Because of the high competition for many positions, time is of the essence when it comes to resume submission. If you delay in submitting your resume, you could end up missing the cut-off for submissions, ruining your chances of landing the job.
No matter what field a hiring manager is in, chances are he or she spends a fair amount of time on the computer. So, when a resume pops up in the inbox, it may get immediate attention. Since much professional success depends upon grabbing the attention of those in positions of authority, it's to your advantage to have your resume appear instantaneously on a manager's computer screen.

Do Make Your Resume Computer-Friendly

The last thing you want to do is to produce a resume that is difficult to read on a computer screen. Keep your type flush left so that the copy is a cinch to read. Make sure there is sufficient space between lines so that the resume will appear attractive in cyberspace. Remember, when you submit a resume online, it doesn't really matter how that resume would appear on a printed page -- what matters is how it will read in a computer window.
While you should use a standard format for an online resume, you don't want your resume to appear like every other job applicant's. Therefore, you might pass up the chance to use customary resume templates and wizards. Although they certainly are convenient, they will do nothing to set your resume apart.

Do Consider Posting Your Resume on a Job Site

While it is true that a recruiter may never e-mail you about the resume that you've posted on a national job search site, there is always the possibility that a manager may see your resume and will contact you as a result. In addition, once you have your resume securely in a job database, it can be simple to submit it electronically to employers who post jobs on the site. As a result, you might find that you'll be saving yourself a great deal of time by positioning your resume in cyberspace.

Don't List Too Much Experience Online

It goes without saying that, the more experience you have, the better-equipped you are to handle the professional challenges that come along your career path. Unfortunately, age discrimination is an all-too-common occurrence in today's business world. Because of this, it is unwise to list 25 years of experience on your resume, no matter what kind of job you're applying for. Instead, it's best if you include only 15 years of job experience in your online resume. That way, you're showing a hiring manager that you are sufficiently experienced -- but you're not giving away your age.

Don't Fill Your Online Resume With Useless Material

For some reason, when a job-seeker is posting a resume online, there is always the temptation to overload the resume with information. Remember, it will be to your disadvantage if you list job duties on your resume that you are not interested in performing in the future. If you have absolutely no interest in doing training sessions, for instance, don't list every training session you've ever done on your resume. Your resume isn't just a link to your past -- it's also a roadmap for your professional future.?Similarly, it's a definite mistake to make an online resume too personal. Since many of us are accustomed to writing personal e-mails, we may associate online communication with highly personal exchanges. But you have to keep in mind that a hiring manager has no interest in your hobbies, since your hobbies will not be part of your job duties. There is absolutely no need for you to include your marital status or health status on your resume. Frankly, it's none of the hiring manager's concern.?If you are applying for a job in business, you should not include any information about your religion, your political party, or club memberships. Such information will do nothing to enhance your candidacy. In fact, it can detract from the professional nature of your online resume.

Do Continually Update Your Online Resume

Once you submit your resume to a job bank, it can remain in cyberspace for a long period of time. While that can give you a sense of security, it can also be a liability if your employment status, your list of references, or your job duties should happen to change. The beauty of the computer is that you can edit, delete, and add to your heart's content, so it only makes sense that you submit updated versions of your resume to various job websites. In a number of cases, you can store multiple versions of your resume, allowing you the flexibility of selecting the most appropriate resume to be sent to the employer of your choice. Another advantage to having your resume stored in a job search database is that you won't have to worry about transmitting computer viruses when you send out your resume, since job-oriented websites generally guard against electronic viruses. Once you've composed a well-crafted online resume, you might actually be reluctant to return to the old-fashioned paper version -- it's simply not as much fun and, in a number of cases, it's just not as effective.

SalesTrax is a national recruiting company uniting sales people and sales opportunities through career fairs and a sales-specific job board. We specialize in pharmaceutical sales positions but represent many other entry and mid-level sales opportunities as well. Visit for more information.

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