During the1980s, job seekers used desktop publishing
to create elegant looking resumes that dazzled hiring managers. In the
1990s, recruiters cautioned them to use fancy formatting sparingly, lest an
electronic scanner reading them became confused. Today, the simpler the
better seems to be the rule.
While a job seeker may not have control over landing a
job, he or she does have control over creating, preparing, and submitting a
resume to a prospective employer. Unfortunately, employers are being
bombarded by poorly crafted online resumes to the point where this
once-promising new mode of job-hunting may be losing its effectiveness.
What makes an effective resume? According to Smith,
effective resumes don’t write themselves. They require research,
self-examination and self promotion. Effective resumes aren’t laundry
lists of jobs once worked.. And they’re not the place to be modest or shy.
Smith recommends crafting a resume for each job and
employer. One size does not fit all. In this age of PCs, there’s no excuse
for producing a generic resume. A resume that doesn’t respond to the
specifics of a job advertised or posted will end up in the trash.
The job seeker’s name should come first. It'̓s
fine to use technical jargon to describe areas of expertise or program
names.Smith said job seekers should demonstrate how they made a difference
at each company, as well as provide specific examples of how the company benefited from their performance.
Using action verbs is still a good idea, but in this
electronic world, most managers use nouns as search terms. And typos not
only make a job seeker look sloppy, but a misspelled key word won't
show up as a match when an employer searches for it.
There are three popular methods for applying for jobs
online–via E-mail, electronic forms, or as a Web page.Smith noted that
the specific employer a job seeker applies to will determine how a resume
should be prepared before submitting it electronically.
Everything should be labeled—NAME, ADDRESS, TELEPHONE,
FAX, E-MAIL, CONTACT INFORMATION, EXPERIENCE, and EDUCATION. These serve as
guideposts which technology understands and then knows where to put the
information which follows.Single-spacing within paragraphs also helps.
Each work experience, with start and end date, should be a
separate paragraph. For it to be read as a job by software, it must carry a
date. Skills should be described in the context of the job where used. And
when naming a position, the occupation like "engineer" is more
helpful than the field, like "engineering."
Unlike job recruiting Web sites like www.monster.com
that attract the attention of employers, job seekers using Internet resumes
must attract the attention of interested employers on their own.
According to Monster.com, the only hope a job seeker has
of being found in an applicant search is the inclusion of relevant industry
keywords. These shouldn’t be in a separate section but sprinkled
throughout the resume.
Keywords are the basis of the electronic search and
retrieval process, providing the context from which to search for a resume
in a database. Keywords are a browsing tool and help employers identify and
retrieve resumes. They can be nouns or phrases that highlight areas of
expertise, industry-related jargon, achievements, and other distinctive
features about a job seeker’s work history.
Job seekers should identify possible keywords that are
appropriate to their skills and accomplishments that support the kinds of
jobs they’re seeking. If responding to an advertisement, keywords can be
picked from there. And, above all, job seekers shouldn’t forget to
highlight their computer skills, noted Smith.