The objective of getting your resume in front of a perspective employer is to convert yourself from a perspective employee to an actual employee. Therefore, the easier you can make that employer's chore of perusing your resume, the better your chances of getting hired. That's why it's no surprise that in today's electronic world, online resumes are becoming an efficient way to submit your information to each perspective employer.
An online resume is one that is designed to be:
Readable from a computer screen
Convertible into another electronic file type, such as a database file
Searchable by keywords so it can be located via search engines
Sent over the Internet
Stored on an electronic medium, like a computer hard drive or portable disk
It is up to an employer's discretion whether or not an electronic resume is printed out on paper, so an online resume is an eco-friendly option, too.
Online resumes are generally done in one of three formats:
Text file: Either ASCII text pasted into an e-mail (or into the forms on online sites like Monster.com) or sent as a .doc-file attachment
HTML: Either pasted into an HTML-format e-mail or put on a Web page
PDF: Either sent as an e-mail attachment or used as a way that preserves special formatting when posting a resume on a Web page
Rather than pasting directly from your word-processing program into an online text entry form, when submitting an ASCII text resume make sure that you first paste and save your resume in a text editor (like Notepad); this ensures that the special formatting codes added by a word processor no longer remain in the document. You'll also want to replace other special formatting such as bullet points with a text equivalent, like an asterisk.