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Guide to Internet Resumes

By Susan P. Joyce

Your traditional printed resume must be supplemented now with a 21st Century version that is compatible with e-mail as well as with Internet and resume database search technologies.

So, your resume must be readable by a computer system, like an applicant tracking system ("ATS") not just by a human being. In fact the computer system may well stand between your resume and the human being.

Because of the computer system, your Internet resume differs from a traditional 20th Century resume in the focus on "keywords" and format. This focus is the result of the widespread use of computer technology by employers of all sizes.


Keywords Are the Key to Being Found Today

Most recruiters use search engines and ATS sytems to find the resumes and social media profiles of qualified job candidates.

Your resume or profile won't be found (or seen) unless they contain the search terms used by the recruiters.

Those search terms are the key words..

So, your resume must be find-able, and keywords are essential to being found.

If you are not adapting your resume to the requirements of the new technologies, your resume may well not be seen by a person, and, if it is seen, it may not have the impact that you need it to have.

Creating and Using Your Internet Resume

Resumes have changed significantly in the last few years with the amazing growth in our dependence on search engines, which are focused on keywords (terms used in searching). applicant tracking systems (resume databases), and other forms of technology.

You do still need your traditional printed resume:

  • When you have developed a relationship with a specific potential employer or a trusted recruiter who has requested your complete resume.
  • When you respond to an employer's ad or an off-line opportunity through the USPS (or "snail mail") system.

It's a good idea to include a plain, scannable version of your resume with your printed resume when you are responding via regular mail. Then, if you are the "right" candidate for the opportunity, your resume may be scanned, particularly by companies with more than 500 employees that may have an internal applicant tracking system.

[See protecting your privacy for information on evaluating Web site privacy policies, and other issues related to your personal privacy. See Choosing a Job Site for help picking web job sites.]

More Information About Resumes:

More about Keywords:

More about Social Media:

About the author...

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.