Why You Need A Plain Text Resume (And How To Create One)
Many companies no longer accept plain paper resumes that are either hand delivered or sent through the post. The reasons for this are many, but one important one is that the Internet is much more convenient than rifling through piles of documents.
Many companies are also concerned with the environment and a virtual document is considered to be greener than using paper. Finally, having a text document makes it easier to upload to recruiting sites where potential employers search out resumes that have certain keywords related to the position that they are searching for.
For whatever reason, you may be asked to submit your resume as a plain text document to the company that does not accept paper ones. You should actually have your resume saved in more than one format anyway as some companies prefer one format over others.
The three basic formats are .doc extensions which are created in Microsoft Word, .pdf which can be created in Adobe or other .pdf makers and plain text. The first types are great because you can add in all the formatting, graphics and stylized bullet points that you want. A plain text document leaves out all of the formatting and only deals with the body of the document.
1. The first thing you need to do when creating your plain text resume is to use the ‘save as’ function in your word processor. Save the document as a .txt file.
2. After saving the document, remove any of the graphics in it. Take out any unnecessary bullet point or numbered lists. For the most part, if they are graphical in nature, they are not going to covert to text anyway. You can use a simple point with tab to create a manual bulleted list.
3. Change the font from the one you are using to Courier and make the font size a 12 point font. This font is going to be read by all of the search engine software that is out there and is also the default font for many of the programs that require the resume to be uploaded to them.
4. Once you have done all of the above, use non graphical bullets and numbers to reformat the text document. Make sure you save your changes and you have just created a full .txt document that you can upload to any site that requires .txt.
If you choose to simply save your formatted document as a text document without removing and reformatting in the above manner, all the recruiter is going to see is a bunch of garbled words. The formatting is lost anyway and the document is not going to be legible unless they take the time to sort out the formatting words from the actual body of the text.
They are not going to take that time so your resume is going to be deleted and they are going to move on to the next one. You want to make a good impression when you submit a resume and you do not want a resume that cannot be read to be the impression that you make.