Careers: Articles - Is Your Resume Lost in the Great Internet
With the advent of email and online job services, job hunting suddenly
became much easier. Or did it? Sometimes it’s hard to know
if your resume is actually reaching someone’s desk—or
is lost somewhere in the great void of cyberspace.
If you want to be sure that your resume is being seen by a real
person who can offer you a real job, here are three rules to get
- Use the Right Key Words
More than ever, resumes are stored in a database and queried for
key words to indicate candidate match. If you aren’t using
the right words to describe your employment experiences, then your
resume might be rejected before it’s ever seen. Review key
words your resume uses to:
- Describe your dream job. Do your qualifications match the job
description? Look closely at areas listing your technical skills,
job responsibilities and core competencies.
- Attract your desired industry. Are you using industry buzzwords?
In other words, does your resume talk their talk?
- Attract your occupational field. Do the phrases you use prove
your level of experience in your field?
- Use the Correct Electronic Version
If your resume can’t be opened as an attachment, then it
can’t be seen. Because of the threat of computer viruses many
companies only accept resumes through their own online forms which
ask you to cut and paste (rather than attach) your resume. Make
sure you are sending your resume in a format that will work for
- If a resume attachment is requested: Save your resume as a Word
document (.doc or .rtf). This is the standard most companies use,
and it should retain the formatting that you used for your resume.
But just in case they use a different word processing program
than yours, you should still avoid using too many fancy formatting
options, such as columns, boxes and tables.
- If an email or online form is used: Use ASCII, plain text, or
text only. This removes formatting, but the information is preserved.
Be sure to review your resume before sending it so that it is
still easy to read and user friendly.
- Differentiate Your Resume from the Crowd
There are dozens of fast food restaurants that sell hamburgers
and fries. How do you choose which one you want? Chances are, one
of those restaurants has a differentiating edge, something that
you like better than all the others. The job market is the same
way; it’s flooded with choices, so you have to make your resume
stand out from all the competition.
The best way to differentiate your resume from others is with accomplishments.
And those accomplishments really stand out when:
- They are measurable. Can you define how much you accomplished
in dollars saved, contracts won, or percent changed?
- They support your transferable skills. Can your skills be used
by this company, even if your job experience is in a different
industry? What skills will transfer from one job to another?
- They connect to corporate bottom-line objectives. How can you
help them save time, save money, increase their profit margin,
improve sales, or increase revenue?
While the Internet is still a great tool for job seekers to connect
quickly with employers, take steps to insure your resume won’t
get lost in the void. Before you send your resume off to the Great
Cyber Beyond, use these three tips to make sure your resume gets
the attention it deserves!
Deborah Walker, CCMC
Resume Writer ~ Career Coach
To see resume format samples and read more job-search tips visit