Most companies require you to submit your resume and cover letter online through their website or a job posting on one of the job boards.
Certain factors need to be considered when submitting your resume online. If they ask that you send a simple email, all you need to do is attach the requested documents and send a polite and concise message to the organization explaining the position you’re applying for and which documents you’ve enclosed.
Before you send that email, make sure that your attached documents are universally compatible. Most people use Microsoft Word, so the .doc format is widely accepted. However, some Word versions are not compatible with all operating systems, and formatting can get skewed in the sending process.
Word documents can also be modified and edited—the last thing you want is for characters to be deleted in your resume package accidentally! Therefore, it’s advised that you save your documents in Portable Document File (.pdf). Most, if not all, systems can recognize and read a .pdf.
When Using a Separate Website
However, you may also be asked to submit your resume via a separate website. If you are asked to directly upload your documents to the page, adhere to the same caution as mentioned above, particularly if you are using a Mac computer—some versions of Mac programs are not PC-friendly.
Copying and Pasting
Another option you may be given is copying and pasting in your resume and possibly a cover letter. If this is the case, remove formatting such as bold, italics, underline, borders, frames, etc. They do not translate well in many of the online programs. One method for overcoming this is saving your original documents in Text Format (.txt) and pasting that version. Text Format can also be used instead of Rich Text when emailing or uploading resumes.
If you’re required to cut and paste your resume online and are asked to reformat it, then do it! Some companies don’t want straight Text Format but want to see what your resume really looks like. If you choose not to reformat your document online and it looks messy or wonky, you will be judged on this by the potential employer. The hiring authority may view you as lazy and uninterested in the job.
If there is a large number of applicants, your resume could automatically be discarded, with the company choosing to look at a more professional-looking document—and professional person—instead. To avoid the amount of time it takes to reformat online, use minimal formatting in the first place—only use bold and italics to emphasize points or bullet points to make key information stand out.
Check for Extra Information to Be Filled Out
When submitting, make certain that you have filled out all other required information as well. Some organizations ask that you fill out the information about past positions and cut and paste your resume. This may seem repetitive or redundant, but make certain that you do it and follow their directions precisely!
After your resume has been sent, you may receive a confirmation on that same website or via email. If you don’t, wait a few days, contact the company, and ask if your documents have been received. It’s okay to explain that you’re unsure if there was a technical malfunction or not, and you wanted to double-check that your resume made it through since this position is so important to you.
Need additional help? Reach out to Candace for assistance!