Sample Plain Text (.txt) Master eResume

Note how the formatting is retained, and how similar it looks to the hypertext sample resume. The difference lies in the file format. The only way to really understand this is to download this sample plain text resume to either your text editor or word processor for a comparison. (Link opens in a new browser window.)

QUESTION: What do you notice about the formatting in the sample plain text resume at the link, and the same resume below?

ANSWER: The difference is that the sample at the link has the lines of text moving off to the right of the window, forcing you, the viewer, to scroll right to read it. To fix this problem, you will need to re-save the file as text with line breaks.

Follow this tutorial to fix the problem using Microsoft Word 2002 or later versions.

Follow this tutorial to fix the problem using earlier versions of Microsoft Word.


1234 Northern Star Circle
Baltimore, MD 12345
H: (410) 555-1212; W: (410) 555-2121


Client Server Systems Architect for a high technology firm.


Nine years of experience in designing, installing, and troubleshooting computing systems; a proven track record in identifying problems and developing innovative solutions.


* PROGRAMMING: C, C++, Visual BASIC, FORTRAN, Pascal, SQL, OSF/Motif, UNIX Shell Script (sh, ksh, csh), BASIC, Clipper, Algol 68, and 80X86 Assembler.

* OPERATING SYSTEMS: UNIX (bsd & SVr3/r4), MS Windows, MS DOS, MS Windows NT, Solaris, HP-UX, Ultrix, AIX, VAX/VMS, and Macintosh System 7.

* NETWORKING: TCP/IP, OSI, Microsoft LAN Manager, Novell Netware, DDN, Internet, Ethernet, Token Ring, SNA, X.25, LAN-WAN interconnection.

* APPLICATIONS: Microsoft Office, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Visual C++, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Publisher, Lotus 123, Lotus Freelance, System Architect, and others.


Systems Engineer

Computer Engineering Corporation, Los Angeles, CA, 1993-Present

* Provide systems engineering, software engineering, technical consulting, and marketing services as a member of the Systems Integration Division of a software engineering consulting company.

* Designed and managed the development of an enterprise-level client/server automated auditing application for a major financial management company migrating from mainframe computers, db2, and FOCUS to a workgroup oriented, client/server architecture involving Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT Advanced Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle7, and UNIX.

* Designed an enterprise level, high performance, mission-critical, client/server database system incorporating symmetric multiprocessing computers (SMP), Oracle7’s Parallel Server, Tuxedo’s on-line transaction processing (OLTP) monitor, and redundant array of inexpensive disks (RAID) technology.

* Conducted extensive trade studies of a large number of vendors that offer leading-edge technologies; these studies identified proven (low-risk) implementations of SMP and RDBMS systems that met stringent performance and availability criteria.

Systems Analyst

Business Consultants, Inc., Washington, DC 1990-1993

* Provided technical consulting services to the Smithsonian Institute’s Information Technology Services Group, Amnesty International, and internal research and development initiatives.

* Consolidated and documented the Smithsonian Laboratory's Testing, Demonstration, and Training databases onto a single server, maximizing the use of the laboratory's computing resources.

* Brought the Smithsonian Laboratory on-line with the Internet.

* Successfully integrated and delivered to Amnesty International an $80,000 HP 9000/750 Server consisting of 8 Gigabytes of disk space and 9 software systems that required extensive porting work and documentation.

Automated Data Processor

US Army Infantry, Germany 1986-1990

* Analyzed problems and ADP processes; designed, tested, and implemented software and hardware systems for an organizational operations center.

* Supervised the maintenance, deployment, installation, and operation of a battalion's personnel system that monitored and controlled up to 12 platoons in a fast-paced, technically demanding environment.

* Designed a maintenance reporting program that converted the labor intensive task of producing weekly status reports from a 4-day to a 2-hour process.

* Developed a departmental computer literacy training program, teaching classes on microcomputer operating systems, office automation software, and introductory programming.

* Taught a "Structured Programming and Problem Solving" course for the Community Education Center after work hours.


* Computer Systems Technology Program, Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Graduate Courses in Software Engineering and Computer Communications (24 quarter units); GPA: 3.43

* BS, Mathematics/Computer Science, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), GPA: 3.57; Major GPA: 3.62


* Database Administration, Performance Tuning, and Benchmarking with Oracle7; Oracle Corporation.

* Software Requirements Engineering and Management Course; Computer Applications International Corporation.

* X.400 Messaging and Allied Communications Procedures-123 Profile; ComTechnologies, Inc.

* GOSIP LAN Operating System Network Administration; ETC, Inc.

* Interactive UNIX System V r4 (POSIX) System Administration; ETC, Inc.

* Effective Briefing Techniques and Technical Presentations; William French and Associates, Inc.

* Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP); Technology Systems Institute.

* LAN Interconnection Using Bridges, Routers, and Gateways; Information Systems Institute.

* OSI X.400/X.500 Messaging and Directory Service Protocols; Communication Technologies, Inc.

* US Army Signal Officer Advanced Course, US Army Signal Center, Georgia; Honor Graduate.


* MCP Trainer, DCS.

* MCP Trainer, SDD.

* MCP Certified Systems Engineer.

* MCP Certified Product Specialist, Networking, MS TCP/IP, and MS Mail 3.2 for PC Networks.

* Member, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA).

* Recipient, Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

(Note: To identify what version of Microsoft Word you have, select the Help pull-down menu from the menu bar in the application, and then select About Microsoft Word).

Saving an eResume as text with line breaks in Microsoft Word 2002 or later versions:

For those using Microsoft Word 2002 or later versions, the only thing you have to do is:

  • Open the text file in your processor, and re-save the file as PlainText (*.txt) from the pop-up window.
  • Another pop-up menu will appear that is labeled File Conversion and then show the filename of the file you are converting. Make sure the Text Encoding: Windows (Default) radio check box is checked.
  • Select the Insert line breaks check box in the same pop-up window.
  • Click OK.
  • Open your file in your text editor to view the results.

Now view the revised sample plain text resume. (link will open in a new browser window)

Saving an eResume as text with line breaks in earlier versions of Microsoft Word 2002:

For those using earlier versions of Microsoft Word, refer to the following steps.

  • In your word processor document, set your margins so that you have 6.5 inches of text displayed.
  • Compose a résumé from scratch or open an existing résumé in your word processor. For this exercise, Microsoft Word 6.0 or higher was used.
  • Select all of the text, and then select a font that is non-proportional 12 pitch, such as Courier 12. This will give you 65 characters per line, which will accommodate most e-mail programs.
  • Save your résumé as a "text only" file with "line breaks." NOTE: if you have been instructed to use "hard" carriage returns at the end of paragraphs instead of lines, save as "text only" without the line breaks.
  • Open this new file in Notepad, or any other text editor that you can cut and paste text into. Most operating systems have a text editor.
  • Review your résumé in the text editor. Notepad lets you view your résumé as it will most likely be viewed by the recipient. It will automatically convert proportional fonts to a fixed font if you did not select one earlier, and it will indicate what part of your text are unsupported ASCII characters such as bullets or underlining.
  • Replace all unsupported characters with their ASCII equivalent. For example, bullets created in Microsoft Word 6.0 or 7.0 appear as a question mark when opened in Notepad. They can be replaced with asterisks or hyphens. Any character found on your keyboard is an ASCII-equivalent character. If you see long lines of text in your editor, use Notepad’s word wrap feature under the Edit menu. This feature inserts "hard" returns, allowing you to format the résumé to meet specified margins. If you have been instructed to enter hard carriage returns at the end of paragraphs instead of lines, then do not use this word wrap feature.
  • Copy and paste the text of the résumé into the body of a test e-mail message, once you are satisfied with the way it looks in your text editor.
  • Create a very short cover letter using the same steps described above. Insert this text above the résumé in the e-mail message. Do not send the cover letter separately as an e-mail attachment.
  • Send a copy of this e-mail message to yourself and to a friend who is using a different e-mail program, before transferring the text file to the recruiter.