By Shawn McGowan
For many, this economy has spurred a job hunt for those who have never before had to search for a job online. No longer does an application consist of a resume on resume-grade paper, stamps, envelopes and some walking around town. The internet has changed all of that.
Making sure your resume is ready to submit and share online is an essential first step in your online job search.
Have your resume handy in digital formats.
- Microsoft Word: This is your master copy. Here you can create the resume look and feel, take advantage of custom layout options (i.e. templates) and check your work for grammar and spelling. If you need a physical copy, print this one.
- PDF: Most word processing programs will give the option to save as a PDF. This format is your best bet when sending your resume as an email attachment as it will always look how you formatted it regardless of what type of computer or software or the recipient uses to view it. PDF files are also considered safer email attachments than Word documents as they have no text for viruses to hide in.
- Plain text (unformatted): Save a copy of your resume with all formatting removed by cutting and pasting the text from your master copy into a new Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac) document, make some adjustments, and save as a .txt file or paste back into Word and save this alternate copy. Use this version to paste your resume into a resume database or ATS (where the text is searched for keywords).
Make your resume available and sharable online.
- Resume Database: Submitting your resume to an exclusive pool of paying subscribers can expose you to opportunities you may not have found otherwise as employers and recruiters often look here before they advertise positions. Be sure to load your resume with relevant keywords so it shows up in the right searches.
- Google Docs: If you are a Gmail user, try Google Docs or create an account for free and upload your resume(s) to share with trusted contacts in your network or provide anyone with a link to the document so they can view it online. You can also make your resume public and indexed by Google so recruiters can find you by adjusting your share settings.
- LinkedIn: The social networking site, LinkedIn, is similar to Facebook but geared specifically toward networking with other professionals. Here, you can showcase your skills and engage with a professional network locally and globally. Be present and active - it lets others know that you are reputable, knowledgeable and keeps you on employers' radar.
If you are a new internet job seeker, my hope is that this article helps you. Finding a job still has the same destination, but the journey to get there favors the savvy.