There are new rules for the job hunt in the Internet age.
"Applicants need to have a traditional resume for mailing, a text-based or scannable one for emailing, and quite possibly a video resume as well," said Lisa Linker, a national recruiter for Paychex Corporation.
Creating several Internet-friendly versions of a resume is a must. The resume should be saved as a PDF to ensure that formatting remains in tact, and many jobs today want a plain-text resume pasted into a website instead of having one mailed to them.
The design and format of a text resume is quite different from a traditional resume. Many companies use databases to quickly and efficiently match job openings with qualified job seekers. Searches are often done using key words and phrases describing the skills and education required for the position.
"When writing a text resume, it is extremely important to use terms and industry jargon describing your skills and experience," Linker said.
Text resumes have the same major headings as a traditional resume. It should include a header for your name, address, phone number and email address. Make sure to include your qualifications, a summary or job objective, your work experience and any specialized training. Avoid graphics or shading. Use all capital letters for major headings. Forget about bold facing, italicizing and underlining. Do not use bullets. And, the text should be left justified.
When formatting a text resume, make sure to use standard serif or sans serif typefaces such as Helvitica, Optima, or Univers.
Employ a normal type size, usually in the range of 11-14 points. The maximum number of characters per line should be about 65.
Avoid graphics or shading.
Use all capital letters for major headings.
Forget about bold facing, italicizing, and underlining.
Do not use bullets.
Text should be justified left.
Kevin Lane, a recruiter for Community Health Systems, suggested that before you send your resume to a company, you should email your resume to a friend. "Have them print it," he said. "What your computer shows, and what mine does, might be two different things."
Lane added that applicants must include every possible way to contact them on the resume.
"I see hundreds of resumes," he said. "If your phone is temporarily disconnected, and I have no other way to get a hold of you, I will move on to the next resume."
Instead of simply posting a resume on a website, today's savvy job applicants are taking it one step further and are designing easily navigable websites or online portfolios and blogs.
Here, the recruiters can view their body of work, read about their goals and obtain contact information. A blog is a non-intrusive way of getting recruiters interested in your brand without ever asking for a job.
"By pulling recruiters into your world you are able to impress them with what you want them to see," Linker said.
Networking is also extremely important. Some studies have noted that 80 percent of jobs are taken through networking.
Today's successful job hunters usually narrow down their job search to the top five companies they would like to work for. Researching those companies will allow job seekers to connect with someone who works there. There are also corporate groups, blogs and contacts on Facebook and Twitter.
"Once you find a contact name, tailor a message that states who you are and your interest," Linker said. "Don't ask for a job at first. Get to them before you inquire about an opening."
LinkedIn is also a good website for networking.
"It's free and the top professionals are there," Linker said.
Like a resume, key words are extremely important. Applicants should also get at least one recommendation from a supervisor or friend.
"If you are not networking, you are not working," Linker said.
Finally, construct a video resume and upload it to YouTube. A good video is short, concise and describes the value you can contribute to a position. It should explain why you are the best person for the job. And, it should explain your background in a story-like setting.
Once a company has your resume, a job applicant's work is not done.
According to James Ritter, spokesperson for career services at Kent State University Trumbull campus, "The big thing I stress with the students is follow-up. After you send the resume, follow up with a letter thanking them for receiving and looking at your resume. This is absolutely crucial."