Depending on which jobs and employers you’re targeting, this might mean sending your resume via email or uploading your resume to a job search or company site.
Options for Online Resumes
Employers care whether or not you follow directions, and they generally want employees who are technologically savvy. Therefore, it pays to learn as much as possible about the right ways to format and send your resume before you apply.
Create a Resume Online
Some job search engines allow you to create a resume using their own resume builders. These walk you through the process of creating your resume, section by section, and format it. For example, job seekers who use Indeed can create a resume online in a variety of formats including Word, PDF, RTF, TXT, and HTML.
Once you have created a resume using a job search engine resume builder, the site will allow you to share it with employers on the same job search engine. When you apply for jobs on the site, you only need to click on your saved resume.
Make sure you download a version of the resume you create online. This way, you will have a version on your computer you can use and edit even when you are not online. You then can email and print your resume to share it with employers and networking contacts at any time.
Save Your Resume File
It's important to have a professional resume that is easy to read and successfully highlights your skills and experience, but when saving a resume file for uploading, it's also important to make sure it is easily accessible for potential employers.
Think about the resume title. Whether you upload your resume as an email attachment or on a job search site, the employer will see the title of your resume. A good title will simply include your name and the title of the job for which you are applying. Another option is to include your desired title or career field, and a very brief (3-5 word) summary of what makes you a strong candidate. For example, your title could be “HR Manager–10 years of experience.”
Avoid generic titles like “Resume,” or, even worse, “Resume 2,” which implies you are applying to so many jobs that and can’t keep track of all your materials.
Make sure the document can be opened. Follow any directions the employer or website asks about what format your resume should be in. Make sure to follow directions to avoid annoying an employer.
Think about the level of privacy you want. If you are uploading a resume to a job search site, you likely will be asked whether or not you want the resume to be posted publicly. The benefit of a public resume is that employers can see your resume, and can reach out to you if they think you might be a good fit for a job. However, if you are still at your current job and don’t want your employer to know about your job search, make your resume private. When it is private, only you can decide which employers see your job materials.
Make sure the format is consistent. When you upload a document online, there is always a risk that the formatting will change.
Always look at a preview of the downloaded document before publishing or emailing it.
Make sure the format is consistent, and that there are no awkward gaps between pages or changes in font or style.
Upload a Resume Online
You may need to upload your resume online for a variety of reasons during your job search, and each reason might require a slightly different strategy for uploading the document.
If you do not create a resume using an online site's resume builder but still want to post it to the site, you will have to upload it. Some sites will include a text box where you simply can copy and paste your resume or type it in directly. If you do this, make sure that the format of your resume stays the same. You may have to edit your resume within the text box to make sure it still looks professional.
However, some job sites don’t let you play with the formatting of the text in the text box. In that case, don’t worry about what it looks like, because it will be consistent with the other resumes in the database.
If you do not paste your resume, you will have to upload it. Typically, you will see a button that says “Upload” or “Upload Resume.” Click this button, and then click through your computer folders and files to find your resume, wherever you have it saved on your computer.
Sites typically will list the file formats they accept, so be sure your resume is saved in one of those formats before uploading.
Here are some of the sites where you can upload your resume or a candidate profile to help broaden your exposure to hiring managers and recruiters.
Create a Resume Website
Another type of online resume is one that is made and accessed only online and typically has its own URL. It could be a standalone site or a component of your personal website.
This kind of online resume allows you to include images and even interactive infographics. You can embed links to other sites related to your work, such as your LinkedIn account, a website you developed, or an article you published. You also can include your work on multiple pages, creating a portfolio of your work.
Depending on your industry and the type of job you are interested, an online resume can be a great way to highlight your skills and experience in a manner that is more visually appealing and engaging than a traditional resume. It also can show off your skills in web development or design, if these skills are relevant to your field.
However, keep in mind that many employers prefer more traditional resumes that are submitted as Word documents, PDFs, or other more typical formats. Be sure to only create an online resume if you know the employer would appreciate this and if you think it shows your relevant skills.
Send Your Resume in an Email
Generally, if you are submitting your application via email, your email message will include your cover letter or at least a brief explanation for why you are writing. Then, you will attach your resume to the email:
- To attach your resume, click the “upload” or “attach files” button on your email message.
- In some email platforms, this button is a picture of a paper clip.
- Click the button, and then click through your computer folders and files to find your resume.
If the employer has requested that attachments be in a certain file format, be sure to upload your resume in that format.
You usually want to avoid copying and pasting your resume in an email unless specifically asked to do this. It often looks messy and unprofessional. Also, without a message attached to the email, the employer will not know why you are sending the resume to him or her.