There are two most commonly used methods for résumé submission: uploading your résumé to the employer's web site or to the résumé bank, and e-mailing your résumé to the employer. Faxing or mailing your résumé is virtually an obsolete practice, because employers are heavily relying on software programs that scan résumés for keywords related to the available positions at their organizations. However, printed résumés are necessary for interviews. Thus, as professionals, we essentially have to have two versions of our résumé. While there are numerous resources for composing a more traditionally formatted résumé, many professionals are not sure how to create electronic résumés that will get noticed. To help you out, here are some dos and don't:
DO create a plain text file of your résumé. While you want certain items on your résumé to stand out, you should still have a plain text file (.txt file) of your résumé. Most employers request a plain text file, because they can run the file through computer software that scans your résumé for keywords related to the available jobs. When creating a text file, makes sure that you take the time to format the résumé; check spacing and adjust any lines of text that seem out of place.
DO follow instructions of your potential employer. If the employer is asking that you send your résumé in the body of the e-mail, do not send them an attachment. Copy and paste the plain text résumé you have created into the body of the e-mail; take the time to check for potential formatting changes. Do not try to format the text by making portions of your résumé bold, or change the font size or type. While you may have the e-mail editor which allows for this formatting, your potential employer may only accept plain text messages. Stick to the basics for a successful transmission of your résumé.
DON'T save your résumé as a PDF. This file type is typically larger in size, and is not very common for an electronic résumé, that your potential employer may completely discard your e-mail.
DO test your electronic résumé by sending it to a few friends via e-mail. Because they may be using different e-mail providers, or have different software than you, they can let you know how your résumé appears to them. This will help you in uncovering and correcting potential formatting problems, to assure that your résumé is in great form by the time it reaches potential employers.
DON'T make an assumption that including a résumé in the body of an e-mail is the only information you should include in your message to your potential employer. Even if the résumé is copied into the e-mail, you still need to let your employer know a little bit more about yourself via a cover letter. However, since you will include your address at the top of the email, feel free to start your résumé with a career objective instead of including the heading with your name and address.