RE: Applying On-Line

Subject: RE: Applying On-Line
From: Ed Manley <EManley -at- Solutionsplus -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 12:46:09 -0600

I suspect I have applied to more jobs than most folk, as I have worked as a
contractor or consultant doing short-term (three to six month) work for
almost a quarter of a decade (a few of those "short-term" contracts extended
to as much as four years). For most of that work I apply as one would for
any other type of employment, so I suspect that my experience is a fair

Use RTF and MS Word.

Many companies want you to apply online, using forms on a website, or via
email. Word and most other format or graphically-based word processors leave
artifacts buried in the document that cause all kinds of unintentional and
potentially embarrassing errors.

Use WordPad (built into Windows) to write your resume, to paste it into
forms, and to email. Use NotePad if you want to make plain TXT files.

Some companies, especially recruiters, have some sort of Candidate Matching
database and want to enter your resume into it in some searchable format.
Again, RTF allows them to do this.

Some companies will not allow employees to open attachments, some block them
completely, some folks won't open them by personal choice, regardless, RTF
answers these issues.

Job search sites like Hotjobs and use an online resume builder;
again, RTF pastes right in.

As far as a formatted resume, unless they ask specifically for a Word doc I
strongly recommend that you convert it to a PDF if you possibly can. This
gives you total control over appearance. When you email the PDF file include
a link to the free Acrobat Reader online download so they can read the doc
(Most folks already have Acrobat Reader).

If asked to submit a resume via snail mail, drop a floppy with your resume
and Acrobat Reader in the envelope along with the hardcopy.
Make a batch file on the floppy to autoload your resume...they will be

If you can't make PDF files, (I will be glad to convert it for you) use only
the basic style sheets and fonts that came with Word to avoid ugly problems.

Some people want a Word doc; I have found that those who do will almost
always either indicate it in the job posting or request it once they have
seen your RTF, HTML or PDF version. As another poster commented - be sure
your Word version reflects your skill with that application as well as your
understanding of format, content and layout. I have seen several managers
turn on the Show All Formatting option to see what the writer did behind the
scenes. Do not, however, make up some trick document with imported fonts,
flashing text and spinning widgets!

I took advantage of my ISP's offer of a free web site to post my resume in
HTML, with links to download either an RTF or a DOC version.
I also posted writing samples, hyperlinked my resume to both the writing
samples and to more detail on each topic, and linked to contacts and
references as well.

It certainly worked for me. Your mileage may vary.

Good luck, have fun,

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