Saturday, April 17, 2010

Captain Writes A Resume - Day 2: Plain Text

From 4/16 to 4/22, I'm writing my own resume. It's time to stop pontificating and see if I can actually put one together myself.

There's no standard for writing a resume, which means every place you apply has it's own method for accepting resumes. Different formats for resumes I've seen include PDF, DOC, TXT, RTF, ODF, PS, DOCX, HTML, TIF, and JPG. Having a bajillion different resumes if exhausting.

Given that resumes are being increasingly read by executives on their mobile phones, and many sites only give you the option to cut/paste your resume in to a text box, I've decided to format my resume as plain text. There's nothing more obnoxious than having a beautifully crafted DOC file that loses all of it's formatting when you cut/paste the contents into a text only field. I can always turn a TXT file into a DOC or PDF, but it's hard to do the other way around.

TIP #1: When using a TXT file for your resume, don't rely on the reader using a text wrapping reader. For example, if you send me a TXT file, Windows 7 opens up the file using Notepad. Notepad displays an entire paragraph on one line, so it I have to scroll left to right just read what you wrote. When using a TXT file, paragraphs are bad.

TIP #2: If you ever send me a resume, I don't mind if you put the resume in an email, but attach the original file, too. It just makes my life easier for so many different reasons.

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