|Job Search Orientation||Composing
Before you post your résumé on the Internet, you will probably need to make quite a few modifications to the résumé's format. Page layout devices such as centering, tabs, and bullets cannot be used, since the résumé must be submitted online in ASCII format. You are also restricted from using special fonts, or even accents such as boldface or italics. Your only option for making headings, or other important information, stand out is through use of all caps.
If you have an existing word processing file for a print résumé, the quickest way to remove the formatting is to save the document (under a new filename!) as a text-only file. Most word processors provide this option. After you have saved the file as text-only, you will probably want to enter some additional line spacing (e.g. around headings and between sections) for ease of reading and to emphasize important details in the absence of formatting.
This elimination of formatting is also useful for preparing your résumé for submission via an e-mail attachment. Even if you plan to mail or fax you résumé, keep in mind that many employers now use optical-scan systems to input résumés into their electronic files, and these systems also require an absence of formatting. You must avoid use of boldface, italics, indentation and right-justification, multiple fonts, very small fonts, or any "unusual" fonts, and particularly avoid underlining as this disrupts a correct scan of your text. Double-spaced text in a sans-serif font (such as Arial) of no less than 12 points is recommended for the best possible scan. The traditional style of résumé, with its emphasis on visual appeal, is beginning to lose its place in light of today's technologies.
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