Follow the rules when submitting a resume for consideration by a possible employer or job-bank. Address prospective employers through the resume submission channels and in the formats that they request. Those aspects of resume submission will usually vary employer by employer and by job site. Don’t be creative with their processes. Many of us are tempted to embellish and send five references – when the employer only asks for three, as one example – or, as happens frequently, a job candidate will submit their resume to an employer in a document file format that doesn’t match what the employer uses, so no one at the company can read it. Follow procedure.
Sometimes you will be instructed to send your résumé in the body of an email, and not as a file attachment. Sometimes, the request is to send the resume only as a file attachment, and only as an ASCII-text file. Sometimes you’ll be asked to submit your credentials via an online submission form, or other alternate method. Requirements change frequently, so you have to be adaptable. The variances in file type requests are prompted by many considerations – bandwidth usage, how a company may distribute resumes they collect, sometimes it’s for computer virus management – as viruses often ride in on email attachments, to name just a few of the reasons you should Follow resume submission guidelines thoroughly. And though it may be hard to accept now, there will come a time when all the cool custom design work you put into your résumé – if you did – will never be seen.
More often than not, employers want text-only resumes. No colors, or background patterns, or digital artwork. Plain text. If you are unaware of the mechanics of saving your files as text-only files, or other text formats, or how to prepare your résumé for scanning and database inclusion, ask someone with some computer savvy to explain it to you and walk you through the procedures. Or search online, where there are many free tutorials on those topics. These are not difficult tasks to perform or learn. And you will use such basic digital skills time and again in a modern job search.
On the other hand, there are times when a company will request your résumé be sent as a MS WORD file, which is not a text-only document. So it makes sense for you to have your résumé ready as a text-only file and as a MS WORD document too. A MS WORD document has a file name that ends with the file suffix “.doc”. The text-only ASCII file ends with a “.txt” after the dot. These two file formats will allow you to send your resume as either an ASCII or MS WORD format, if requested. Whatever format the employer asks you to use, it is the system they have devised to process applicants quickly and efficiently. By complying with their requests, you help keep their workload to a minimum, and you show your own willingness to be polite, cooperative.
Another choice, ask the potential employer if it’s okay to send your resume the easiest way possible – copy/paste your resume directly into the body of an email. Eliminates the need for attachments. Once you do that, your brief comments at the top of the email become like a brief, basic cover letter, leading the reader directly into your resume, which resides below.
One job search strategy has job seekers sending resumes to multiple contacts within the same company. In some cases, that is a viable approach to market one’s skills. But be aware, sending copies of your résumé to multiple persons in the same company is now beginning to be seen as a breach of ‘netiquette.’ Get permission first. If you are requested to submit your resume via email, don’t send it by standard post too – unless requested. Should you make changes to your résumé, submitting a single second copy is acceptable, as long as the body of the email that carries the attachment explains that there are revisions, and points out to the reader where he or she may find them in the body. of the résumé. You should also feel free to resubmit your résumé after ninety days if there is no immediate progress. Most companies purge candidates from their “active” databases in cycles of ninety days, so quarterly submittals will keep you current in the database of a company for which you have a strong desire to work.
Smart job seekers should realize there are some critical requirements for submitting resumes online, whether via web form, email, as a file attachment or some other method. Do it wrong and your resume is lost or side-tracked. Do it right and your resume is to the hiring decision maker by morning. The resume submission strategies outlined in this article may seem to exert a weak force on your job search universe. When you consider how many things can go wrong in a job search – sometimes it’s as if gravity itself steps in and pulls your job search to the ground fast, or propels it forward at a sprint, depending on what balance and focus you exert. Same holds true for resume submission. Attend to details. Follow the rules.
GOOD LUCK IN YOUR JOB SEARCH