E-Resumes: Getting More Bites with Bytes


by Laura Gassner Otting , Consultant, ExecSearches.com

The future is now, and it is the Internet. Those job seekers who haven't figured that out will be left behind, scavenging through the un-wanted ads for jobs with unfulfilling missions, long hours and bad pay. If you are not exploiting the Internet to advance your career, you are losing time, money and, of course, the best jobs available.

The Internet is used by millions of people worldwide, twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. Even if you are posting your resume with online databases, searching through online postings and using every search engine imaginable to push your search faster, you are still not taking advantage of all the Internet has to offer. What if you could put up a billboard advertising yourself?

Well, technically, you can. By putting your resume online on your own personal web page, with a dynamic and private URL address that you can manipulate and control, you can get your resume in front of anyone you want, provided you insert the right searchable keywords in strategic places. In addition, you can send that URL to human resource directors and recruiters who, in this world of rampant viruses (some even cleverly titled, "Resume"), are unwilling or afraid to accept resumes as attachments in e-mail. But, with your own URL, you can show off your knowledge of the Internet while leapfrogging ahead of your technologically-challenged competition.

The Keyword's the Thing!

Just like the billboard on the side of the highway, your resume won't be seen unless human resources directors and recruiters are driving by. That's where keywords come in to play.

Keywords consist of nouns and phrases that highlight your area of expertise, such as technical lingo or professional industry-related jargon. That way, when a recruiter enters the words, "development director university college major gifts," resumes of individuals who are Major Gift Officers in the academic world will pop up in front of his or her eyes.

Do You See What I See?

E-Resumes eliminate the hassle and confusion often associated with sending a resume as an attachment through e-mail. You no longer have to worry about your one page resume coming across as five pages or your expertly formatted bullet points appearing to a recruiter as - gasp - question marks. Everyone, whether they us a Mac of PC, or view the web with Internet Explorer, Netscape or AOL, sees your E-Resume the way you intended it to be seen. and hopefully, that's not with question marks highlighting the beginning of each line.

A Word to the Wise

Making a resume to an E-Resume is a two-step process. First, with a program such as Front Page 2000, convert the resume to a format understandable by the Internet. A basic knowledge of HTML is necessary for this, and if you don't have one, don't try this at home. Second, purchase a URL address of your own or find a web site or Internet service provider that offers to host personal web pages.

Don't forget that putting a resume online is no substitute for pounding the pavement. You will still need to network and respond to ads and push hard to find your dream job. The difference is that you will have one more tool, and quite a powerful and sophisticated one at that, in your arsenal.