How many fishermen do you know who only have one lure in their tackle box or always use the same bait every time they go fishing? None, probably. That’s because a smart fisherman knows different situations require different lures and different baits. A smart job hunter knows this, too, and includes several types of lures and baits in his or her job search tackle box to attract prospective employers within different situations.
An effective job search requires four types of resumes for use in four different types of submission approaches. Each of these resume “end products” serves a distinct purpose in your job search. Armed with all four submission products, you will be able to conduct a full job search campaign using both traditional and electronic job search methods, increasing your chances for a successful job search.
- Word Processor File – This file is at the heart of the job search and forms the basis for each of the other resume types. As a stand-alone file, it can be used as an attachment to e-mail messages so that prospective employers can bring it up on their screen, view it, print it out, and/or store it in their computer database. You can also copy the file to floppy disks and use them as handouts to people you meet.
- Printed Copies – This is the most commonly known resume presentation used in a job search. The traditional printed resume has been used successfully for years as a mailed submission and as a professional presentation attached to an application form. Your printed resume should be attractive and conservative in layout. It should be printed on high quality, light-colored stationery. To prevent “bleeding” of text, ink jet printing is not recommended. The text should be dark in color, preferably black. If your resume is two-pages in length, or accompanied by a cover letter , don’t staple your documents together, but use a paper clip to bind. When mailing your resume, use a 9×12 envelope so you can mail your documents without folding. Following these guidelines will ensure that your documents will arrive in good order and that they can be photocopied, faxed, or scanned by the recipient with good results.
- HTML Coded Resume File
A couple of words of caution on your resume Web page design:
- Unless you’re looking for a position requiring skill in Web page design and graphics, be careful about adding lots of graphics (especially large graphics) and colored background files to your resume. These features can add significantly to the time it takes for your page to load and can be especially bad if you’re on a slow server.
- Also, some people like to add links (on their Web resume) to current and previous employers’ Web pages, particularly when they’ve participated in the creation of these sites. Before you do this, however, consider that when you include these hyperlinks, you are actually sending readers away from your document. Additionally, you may distract your readers’ attention away from your qualifications and hiring value for the position you’re currently targeting. You want to keep your reader focused on your accomplishments and current career goals, rather than diverting their attention somewhere else.
Once your HTML resume file has been created, there are several different ways you can use it in your job search:
- Your own Web page – Most internet service providers and commercial on-line services include space on their servers where you can post your own Web page as part of your standard monthly service.
- Submittal to employment-related sites – Some employment-related Web sites accept HTML resume files for searching by prospective employers. Most of these sites charge a separate fee to convert your resume to HTML code and a separate fee to post the resulting file. If your resume is already in HTML format, you can save anywhere from $10 to $75.
- E-mail to prospective employers – Most e-mail packages (including Netscape Mail, Microsoft Mail, Pegasus Mail, Eudora Mail, Hotmail, and others) will automatically create a hyperlink to your resume Web page when you include your URL in the body of your message. This makes it easy for the recipient of your message to go directly to your resume. When you include your URL in your messages, it’s important to use your full address and to surround it with the “<>” symbols. For example: . Surrounding the URL with the “<>” symbols defines the full URL and keeps it from including other text and/or symbols (the period at the end of a sentence, for example, if your URL is at the end of the sentence.)
- Posting to Usenet Newsgroups – You can include your resume Web page’s URL in posting to the job search and resume newsgroups in the same manner as you do for e-mail messages described above.
- ASCII Coded Resume File – Like the HTML resume, the ASCII file resume is also used for your online job search. Other than the fact they are both used on the Internet and, therefore, are both referred to as “electronic resumes”, they share nothing else in common. The HTML resume contains rich formatting that makes your resume come to life, visually, when posted as a Web page. In contrast, the ASCII file resume is a very plain, text-only version of your word-processed resume. Visually, this version bears absolutely no resemblance to your HTML or word-processed resume. It has a “typewriter” look to it and has no boldface type, italics, tabs, underlining, or fancy fonts. It also has to have “hard” carriage returns at the end of each line and the line length should be no longer than 65 characters. While the least attractive of all the various resume end products, it fills a need for certain situations where none of the other formats will work. Its applications include:
- Submittal to employment-related sites – For those employment sites where you cannot post your HTML resume, you will need to submit an ASCII file version. The procedure for using your file this way is simple . . . just “cut and paste” the file to the designated area on the Web site.
- E-mail to prospective employers
- Posting to Usenet Newsgroups – Instead of including a hyperlink to your HTML resume Web page, you could “cut and paste” your ASCII resume file into your newsgroup posting. The advantage is that your resume is right there in front of the reader when your posting appears. The disadvantage is that your resume won’t be nearly as attractive as your Web page resume. Of course, you could do both.
You’ve filled your job search tackle box with all the lures and bait you need . . . and you know where and how to use them. So hang out your “Gone Fishing” sign and bring home a big one!
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