Here are some things to keep in mind
while creating your electronic resume

  • Learn to think NOUNS, not verbs
    Action words like accelerated, arbitrated and launched are out. In scannable resumes, nouns are dominant. Computers search for descriptive words such as accounting, manager, Price Waterhouse.

  • Use labels or KEYWORDS
    Keywords are an extension of the noun concept and are also called buzzwords or descriptors. Keywords are words employers search for when trying to fill a position. They are the essential characteristics required to do the job: education, experience, skills, knowledge and abilities. The more keyword marketing points you present about yourself, the more likely you are to be plucked from an electronic resume database now or in a year from now.

  • Less is more
    Avoid decorative, uncommon or otherwise fussy typefaces. Don't underline - it may muddy up into a blob in a scanner's eye. Stick to white or beige paper. Steer away from italics.

  • Keep the design simple
    Avoid graphics and shading -- the equipment is set to read "text" not "graphics." If you use complex tables with leader dots (...), computers may trip over them.

  • Minimize use of abbreviations
    Except the more common ones like BA (Bachelor of Arts). Do, however, maximize the use of industry jargon.

  • Put name first and contact information on separate line

  • Use white space
    Computers like white space. They use it to recognize that one topic has ended and another has begun.

  • Use common language
    Not all systems have a full-fledged synonym table so try to maximize the "hits" between a position search and your resume by using words everyone knows.

  • A one page resume is no longer a hard and fast rule
    Three pages, maybe four, is about the maximum an electronic resume should be. Here are some benchmarks: new graduates - one page; most people - one to two pages; senior executives - two to three pages.
  • Buzzwords

    Internal systems companies are using to process the volume of resumes they receive; these systems scan, read, organize, store, and, when necessary, retrieve resumes.

  • BBS
    Stands for Bulletin Board System, and is a computer that has been connected to a telephone line through a modem. Computer users can then telephone a specific BBS and swap information, computer files, programs, or fellowship. An electronic meeting place where users with common interests exchange information.

    A structured collection of related information: a common example is a computerized file of resumes that a computer can call up on command.

  • E-MAIL
    Electronic mail automatically passed through computer networks and/or by modems over common-carrier lines. It is beginning to be used for job-hunting letters.

    Also called buzzwords or descriptions, these words are usually nouns that employers search for when trying to fill a position. Typical keywords for a manager are: MBA, marketing, promotion.

    A resume that places a summary of keywords at the beginning of the document, making it easier for a computer to read for pertinent information.

    A stand-alone information delivery system often used for retail directories and other interactive information and sales presentations. Employment kiosks are beginning to appear that present job hunters with information or on-screen applications to fill out.

    Classified ads one can call up on a home computer screen and answer at any time. An example is "Classifacts", a national database of newspaper classified ads for 60 major newspapers. Job seekers can buy subscriptions to job ads in occupational areas of interest from anywhere in the country.

    Independent firms that register people in their databases and then permit employers to draw from them. There are a variety of different services, some based on occupation, others on geography, and the cost for listing in these services vary.

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