Getting it all Together
The E-Resume
The most effective method of applying for a job posted online is through an electronic résumé (eRésumé). An eRésumé is a version of your résumé for use within a searchable database of résumés- often part of an automated system companies have set up to match job candidates with job descriptions.

More and more, paper résumés are designed for visual appeal, the content sprayed with action verbs. This is designed to grab the employer's attention. The difference between an eRésumé and a more traditional paper résumé is that an eRésumé needs to grab the computer's attention first.

Scannable Résumés

In order to convince a computer you're the right person for the job, your résumé must be scannable. Scanning is the process by which your paper résumé is transformed into electronic data and entered into an automated résumé tracking system.

Here are some guidelines for creating a scannable résumé:

  • Use white paper with text printed only on one side
  • Use popular fonts like Arial in point sizes 10 to 14
  • Use wide margins around the text
  • Send original documents

Try to avoid:

  • Tabs (formatting is often lost)
  • Graphics, shading, script fonts, italics, underlining and bold-faced text
  • Horizontal and vertical lines
  • Parentheses and brackets
  • Compressed lines of text
  • Stapling the résumé
  • Folding the résumé when mailing

By following these suggestions, your résumé should be 100% scannable. However, if you want to save on postage by uploading your résumé directly into a company's computer, your résumé should be made searchable.

Key Word Résumés

After you've uploaded your résumé text directly into a company's computer, the text is entered into a résumé tracking system or database that usually searches résumés by using key words. Once again, you have to get the computer's attention. The trick to a computer-friendly résumé lies in the language you choose.

Key words consist of nouns and phrases. Here are some hints on what to include:

  • Industry jargon
  • Your areas of expertise
  • Information about your education
  • Your work experience history
  • Any special skills you may have
  • Projects you have worked on
  • Any of your achievements

When a job becomes available, the employer enters key words relating to the position and the type of candidate required. Only those résumés matching the job profile will be pulled from the database for consideration. Keep in mind a key word résumé can also be a scannable résumé, but a scannable résumé is not necessarily a key word résumé.

Uploading Résumés

The two most common methods of uploading résumés are electronic forms (E-forms) and Email. E-forms are found on a company's website. The sender is required to input text into specific fields, and then to click on a button to submit the information. The most updated browsers support these applications. Email is the more direct method. Your résumé may be sent as a message or as an attachment.

You may dislike how simple procedures seem to be getting so technical. Take comfort in the fact that while your résumé may change, the goal remains the same; to get you an interview. After that, it's up to old-fashioned charisma to land you the job.