CAREER COUNSELOR’S CORNER 1. 800. 973.1177
How to Develop an Electronic Resume
[J. Murray Elwood]
You can easily develop an electronic resume and send it by e-mail, but there are caveats.
Many law firms are technologically con- image, or text file, of the resume that it Be aware of two downsides to attachments.
servative and not at all savvy in the elec- then stores for later retrieval and review in Sometimes attachments are not sent in Word
tronic processing of their documents. They a databank. This scannable resume is de- or a compatible format and the attached file
prefer to receive paper resumes for law veloped from your ordinary word-processed is garbled when opened. This file can usually
school recruiting or for screening of lateral resume, but created with simple typefaces, be read by some other application already
moves. But sooner or later in a job search, a such as the kind of typefaces used in this in the computer, but the process is time-
potential employer or recruiter will ask you book - Times New Roman, Ariel, Helvetica, consuming, inconvenient, and infuriating. A
to e-mail your resume. Or it might be that an Univers - but without italics, horizontal lines, more serious problem with attachments is
ad in a legal newspaper will instruct: “Apply or underlined words. Note also that words that some employers, concerned about vi-
by e-mail and send your resume as a Word used for section headings (e.g. Education, ruses, have firewalled their systems against
attachment.” What do you do? Bar Admissions) in the scannable resume all attachments to protect the integrity of
are emphasized by capitalization, rather than their emails. As a result, the phrase “No
First of all, you don’t need a completely written in bold type. Attachments Please” seems to be appearing
different resume for e-mailing. With a few more and more in corporate advertisements.
slight variations, the same text can be used An Electronic Resume Read the advertisement carefully or ask the
for the three most common formats for person requesting your resume what e-mail
transmitting resumes: Your resume can also be sent electronically format to use when forwarding the resume.
either as an attachment file to your e-mail
A Paper Resume message that the addressee opens upon re- As Plain Text. You convert your resume to an
ceipt or as plain text pasted onto the e-mail ASCII (“ASK-key”) or plain-text format that is
Sometimes labeled “hard copy,” with ar- message itself. Both methods are widely then pasted directly on to the bottom of your
resting typefaces and bulleted descriptions used to submit resumes to either recruiters e-mail message.
of accomplishments. This is the resume, or in answering advertisements.
still widely used, that you have traditionally To send your resume as part of the e-mail
mailed with your cover letter. When required, As An Attachment File. If you’ve created message for Word 98/2000, just follow these
you can also fax your paper resume as an your resume using standard word processing steps:
answer to an advertisement. software, say WordPerfect or Microsoft Word
98/2000, after composing your e-mail mes- 1. Open your resume. Choose: File > Save
A Scannable Version sage, you hit “Browse” to find your resume As > Save As Type; Choose: Text Only. You’ll
file, then click the “Attach” button and then probably get a message saying that the
This form of electronic processing does not “Send” and your resume goes out as a file document “may contain features that are not
yet seem to be widely used by law firms, but with your covering message. If sent in Word compatible with Text Only format. Do you
resume scanning is employed by the human and received as a Word document, format- want to save the document in this format?”
resource departments of major corporations ting and fonts should appear very much as Select: Yes
to manage large numbers of incoming paper they do in a “hard copy” format. For example,
resumes. Clue: The ad tells you to direct Bradford Bunting’s corporate resume, when 2. A Text Only form of your resume will come
your resume to “Data Processing.” sent as an attachment and “read” in Word 98, up on the screen. Select the resume, then
came through exactly as printed on page 60. Choose: Edit > Copy. Then go to your E-mail
The company scanner creates an electronic text, position your cursor after your message
PAGE 1 continued on back
CAREER COUNSELOR’S CORNER 1.800. 973. 1177
and Choose: Edit > Paste. If your resume design and, especially, the process of web overheads and other classroom materials.
contained bullets, they will be changed into posting. Using PowerPoint software, created several
asterisks. Check your heading to make sure presentations for History of Architecture
the name, address and phone and e-mails are www.monster.com Kim Isaacs has an excel- courses.
in the proper order, and make sure the Sec- lent article here on converting a resume to
tion headings are printed in capital letters for ASCII format. Select: Career Center > Gen- ADMISSIONS
emphasis. eral Resources > Resumes.
United States District Court, E.D.N.Y., 2003
To test the appearance of your plain-text TAMIKA GREENE New York State Bar, Second Department,
resume, it’s easy to open up another e-mail 2002
address, say in HotMail, and send yourself 436 West 76th Street New York, N. Y. 10023
your resume at your usual e-mail address. (212) 123-4567 AFFILIATIONS
Note the Plain-Text Resume [at the End of EDUCATION Bar Association, City of New York
This Section] American Red Cross - CPR Instructor
Fordham University School of Law, New York,
The original hard copy version of Tamika N.Y.
Greene’s resume ... was converted into ASCII, Juris Doctor (cum laude), 2002
or Text Only format, pasted onto an e-mail and
the resume appeared as it does on the next American University, Washington, D.C.
page. Other than dropping the horizontal line Bachelor of Fine Arts (magna cum laude),
below the letterhead and looking as if it had 1997
been typed on an old Remington typewriter, Washington Post Scholar, National Founda-
in 10-point New Courier typeface, the resume tion For The Arts Award
required no changes or edits. Substituting
either a series of asterisks or dashes can ap- EXPERIENCE
proximate the effect of the horizontal line in
the original. Justice Milton Migrano, Appellate Division of
New York, 2nd Department
Resources Law Clerk, 2002 - Present
The Internet contains many additional re- Electronic legal research using Westlaw and
sources to answer questions and assist you LEXIS-NEXIS.
in creating your electronic resume. Some of Prepared written memoranda and oversaw
the best: statistical reporting, document review and
www.eresumes.com This is Rebecca Smith’s
site, “eResumes 101,” and it is a compre- Peace Corps, Republic of Ghana
hensive source containing several pages of Volunteer, 1997 - 1999
excellent technical information about e-mail
resume design and formats, including Key- Teacher of art in small village school; com-
word resumes, Web resumes, HTML resumes, munity organizer.
and so on. Facilitated various agricultural development
www.dbm.com/jobguide Margaret Riley Dikel,
author of “The Riley Guide” to web career re- American University, Fine Arts Department
search information, has several pages at the Student Research Assistant, 1995 - 1996
Drake Beam Morin corporate site with good,
common-sense advice about web resume Prepared bibliographies, catalogues,