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e-Resume
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e-resume

To apply for a job the fastest way these days is to submit an resume via email, but who knows what your resume ends up looks like on the other end. Read through our guide of preparing your e-resume that will win your next interview.

Use ASCII Format.
ASCII is the lowest form of electronic text; every Web browser or e-mail program can read it. To create an ASCII résumé, save it as a text file in a word-processing program. Copy it into the body of an e-mail when you apply for a job. Otherwise, you risk having your résumé come out jumbled and unreadable.

Never submit a résumé as an attachment. Although it may seem easiest to attach your résumé, doing so is like leaving a stack of money on a train: you're never going to see it - or hear about it - again. Recruiters don't read attached résumés because they can be infected with a virus that'll destroy their computer. It's a risk they don't want to take - so attaching a résumé is a risk you don't want to take.

Limit each line in your résumé to 72 characters.
Most e-mail programs wrap text around at 72 characters. That means any line longer than 72 characters is going to be cut off and dropped down to the next line, making your résumé look like it was hit by a chainsaw. Avoiding that 73rd character will help format the document so it stays organized and easy to read.

Showcase your strong points first.
Newspaper articles include the most important information at the front of the article; the best parts of your résumé should be up front, too. Don't make the recruiter scroll down through loads of information before getting to the good stuff.

Run the spell check.
Errors in any type of written correspondence can get you dinged. Don't let the seeming informality of the electronic résumé allow you to omit this key step. But don't let your faith in technology make you complacent, either; spell checkers give all sorts of mistakes the green light. After you do the spell check, proofread it the old-fashioned way several times. Then get a friend or two to do it again.

Take your e-résumé out for a test drive.
E-mail your résumé to yourself, because you'd much rather it be you who catches technical problems and errors and not a recruiter. Make sure the text looks right on the screen and prints out correctly. You might also try e-mailing yourself at different accounts. E-mail accounts have different ways of reading things, and you don't want to take any chances that when it reaches the recruiter's account it will look messy.

Include a cover letter.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but many applicants for Internet jobs don't include letters with their résumés. Cover letters that accompany e-résumés should be brief and concise. Keep in mind that recruiters want you to introduce yourself, they want to see how you write, and they want to see you make a case for why the position they need to fill is the one you're right for. Be sure to indicate which position you're applying for, what your qualifications are, and what you can contribute to the company.

Make a backup.
Save a copy of your résumé on a disk and on your hard drive so you don't lose it. Also make hard copies on good paper stock. You want to make sure that if your résumé gets lost, you can reproduce it quickly. You also want to be sure that when you're called in to interview, you've got a paper copy that looks good to bring with you. Recruiters love to misplace paper once they've called candidates in to interview, and if you show up prepared with some back-ups, that's a detail that will count in your favor when it comes to decision-making time.


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