Email resumes…Web resumes…HTML resumes…Scannable resumes… Keyword resumes…Text resumes…ASCII resumes…PDF resumes…Word resumes…Traditional resumes…
A resume is a resume, right? But then, what are all these different types of resumes you keep hearing about? If you are confused and not quite sure what is being referred to when you hear all these different names for resumes, you are certainly not alone!
Over the past decade, the most common resume-related questions asked by job hunters have progressively shifted. While still of major importance, the majority of queries are no longer about functional versus chronological resume styles, whether to keep or remove experience from twenty-five years ago, or whether to include dates of education. With the advent and subsequent explosive increase in the use of the Internet during the job search, questions have turned overwhelmingly to issues of electronic resume creation and transmission.
What are the different types of electronic resumes?
What are the differences between an e-mail resume, a scannable resume, and a web resume?
How do I know which resume format to use?
How do I format my electronic resume to ensure that the recipient can read it?
No wonder there is so much confusion! In just a few short years, there has been a complete revolution in the tools and techniques of job hunting. As applicant tracking technologies have come into common use among headhunter firms, large corporations, and even mid-size and small businesses, recommended resume formats and methods of transmission have rapidly evolved with the advancing technologies. Further complicating things, have been the increasing availability of personal web space for online resume portfolios and biographies.
What does this mean for today’s job hunter? While the Internet has opened unprecedented doors of opportunity in the job search process, for those who have not taken the time to learn and apply the rules it can mean disaster!
While few job hunters have time to spend months studying the most recent technologies and recommendations for the creation of electronic resumes, before venturing onto the Internet with your resume it is critical that you take the time to learn and understand a few simple cover letter template concepts. Knowing your audience and the formats most acceptable by those audiences are essential pieces of knowledge for the Internet job hunter.
The human reader – The traditional, printed, hard copy resume (yes, it does still have a primary place in job hunting!) is created to attract the human eye and attention. With the advantages of word processing applications, sophisticated formatting is possible and should be applied strategically to create eye-appeal and draw the readers’ attention to key qualifications.
The computer reader – The electronic or computer-optimized resume is designed, first and foremost, to be readable by the computer. There are several types of electronic resumes, but the common element of all is the ability to be searched by keyword. Of course, once your resume has been tagged as matching a keyword search, it will be reviewed by a human. So compelling, easy-to-read content is just as important in the electronic resume as in the traditional resume.
Miss these points and the effects could be devastating…you might send out hundreds of resumes only to sit at home and wonder why nobody, not even one company or headhunter, has called you for an interview. There are fundamental formatting differences between traditional and electronic resumes. If you do not understand these differences, your resume will make it into very few – if any – resume databases.
What are the differences between keyword, scannable, web, traditional, and text resumes?
Traditional resumes are designed, as already noted, to compel the human reader, through persuasive language and design, to take further action and call you for an interview. Layout and page design are critical and should be planned strategically to draw the eye to areas of emphasis. The most effective traditional resumes are focused on achievements and written in powerful, active language that captures and holds the attention of the reader.
Scannable resumes — also a printed, hardcopy format — are designed primarily for accurate scanning into a computer. Captured as an image, scannable resumes are fed through OCR (optical character recognition) software that reads and extracts the text. The extracted text is databased for storage and later recalled by keyword from an applicant tracking system. Scannable resumes are very rarely requested any more. If you are asked for a scannable resume, the most efficient option is to email the requestor your plain ASCII text resume (described next).