Uploading Your Web Resume

Many potential employers use the Internet to list their job postings. Some use their own corporate Web sites. (For example, the Everything® book publisher, Adams Media at www.adamsmedia.com, has an Employment link on its home page.) Many also use targeted recruiting sites, where the Web site organizes and displays an employer's opening or advertisement and also makes sure qualified applicants come to the employer's attention.

The process of uploading a resume from your personal computer is simple. Web sites walk job seekers through the process step by step. The process may vary a little, but in all cases you are using your Internet connection to send the electronic file containing your resume directly to an employer or to the job board's online job bank.

File Format for the Web Resume

Uploading is easy, and it is a very effective way of making your resume easily available to many potential employers. However, the electronic file that contains your resume must be in the correct format. Your uploaded resume is useless if the database can't store it or your recipient can't open and read it.

All online job banks specify the file format you should use. The following are some common formats:

  • Microsoft Word. Almost everyone in almost all professional fields uses Microsoft Word. This is the application most preferred by hiring companies and job boards. If you create your resume using another software application, see if your software has the option to save your file as a Word document.

  • PDF. PDF files retain the formatting of the original file, and they tend to not get corrupted in their travels across the Internet. You can create a PDF from almost any file format. PDFs cannot be edited or altered, making them a good way of keeping your content exactly as you created it. They are created through Adobe software, which you can download for free.

  • Web page input. Some job banks ask you to create a resume by filling in the fields of a resume form. In this case, you are not really uploading a file at all. The information you enter into the various fields gets saved directly into the job banks database. Instead of storing resume files, this database contains the information directly.

No matter what format you use, you should do a quality check before uploading your file:

  • Make sure your resume file can be opened, and that it is formatted correctly. Word files can be corrupted, and PDFs can substitute fonts and change things like font size or margins. Do not assume that just because you saved the file or created the PDF that it will meet your requirements.

  • Name your file correctly. Check the requirements of the job bank: They might have a system for naming files. In general, your filename should be short and descriptive.

  • If you are filling in a Web form, take your time entering your information in the fields. Keywords here are essential. You might need to edit your resume, aiming to keep things short while using as many keywords as possible.

  • Test it yourself. E-mail your resume to several friends or family members and ask them how it looks on screen, and ask for a sample printed version to review yourself.

Keywords Are Essential

Many job seekers upload their resumes to Web job banks or job boards. These are true Web resumes, sometimes referred to as e-resumes. The potential employer only sees this electronic version, only printing a paper version at his or her own preference. Often, before any human being lays eyes on these Web resumes, they are subject to review by a search engine. This tool is loaded with certain keywords that the employer has defined as critical to any applicant's qualifications. Regardless of your abilities, if your qualifications summaries or general content does not use these keywords, it is likely that you'll never make even the first cut.

Here is where your research pays off. In defining your goals and drafting your resume, you learned the terms and phrases used in your chosen field. When possible, in your statement of objectives, you should name a particular title that you know is used in your field. The verbs you use to describe your qualifications and experience should mirror those terms as closely as possible.

Here are two statements of objectives that could be used for the same resume. See which one would yield the more fruitful keyword search:

  • Objective: Position designing logos and graphics for state-of-the-art Web sites.

  • Objective: Position as Web Designer for software design firm, using skills in XML, DTML, streaming video, Flash animation, Oracle database design, and Web site maintenance.

Chances are that you are uploading your resume into a job bank in answer to a specific job posting. The smartest thing to do, therefore, is to compare the job description to your resume. Does your resume, particularly your qualifications summary section, contain the key verbs, terms, and phrases used in the job description? If this job description is short or vague, search the Web for other descriptions of similar jobs. You will notice that they use a common vocabulary to define job functions and desired qualifications.

Check the rules of the online job boards. Most allow you to regularly update your resumes. When you do an update, take the time to upload it so all potential employers always see the best and most accurate depiction of your job skills.

Keep an Inventory of Keywords

As you continue to search out new job postings, you will learn new industry-specific ways of phrasing your qualifications and summaries. Rather than rewriting your resume every time you find a new, more appropriate term, keep a list. Update your resume when you have a collection of these terms. In this way, your update will not only be more efficient in terms of time, you may come up with better ways of phrasing whole sections, instead of changing a word at a time.

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