How the internet can help you in your job search

Most of the job-seekers who would read this question would answer affirmatively. But is it really true? How many of you out there use a web-ready resume? How many of you understand what a web-ready resume is?

What Is A Web-Ready Resume?

In lay person's language, a web-ready resume is a CV that is posted on the web and can be referred to by typing the address in the browser or accessed through clicking on a link. That is indeed great, you would say - but how is that different from sending an email across with the CV attached as a document?

Well, there are many advantages in having a web-ready resume and some of the most vital one are listed below:

  • 1. Accessibility - this is an online CV can be accessed at any time with the least effort. Sometimes, attachments do not open; sometimes, the recruiter might not want to take the trouble to download and save your online CV on his/ her laptop/ PC. It would be much easier to click on the link you sent or cut and paste the address on the browser and check out your online resume.

  • 2. Searchability - there are many times that recruiters run searches on the Web and if your CV is already posted on the web, then it would be searchable and the recruiter can find it for their reference. You might get surprised by some good news.

  • 3. Ability to post in many details - Normally a CV is not and should not be any longer than two whole pages. However, when you post your online CV on the web, you could make it as detailed as you want by posting details in the form of links. Hence, you would still have a two page resume; however, your would also have sufficient scope to show all your other credentials without crowding/ lengthening your online resume

  • 4. Showcase your capabilities - the very fact that you have a web-ready resume implies that you are computer savvy. If you have a great design on your domain and the online CV makes a pretty overall picture, this itself would be enough proof of your credentials about your proficiency in computers. It is not advisable here (no matter how tempting it is) to boast about this achievement if you hired somebody to do it. You might be asked technical details in the interview and that would make a very embarrassing time.

  • 5. Downloadability - your resume could (and should) be easily downloadable in as many formats as you could manage. Most recruiters would prefer it in word and/ or pdf (portable document format). However, you could have it in some other popular formats, i.e. HTML, ASCII text, Rich Text Format (rtf), etc.

The Tools Required

There are definite advantages from using a web-ready resume. In order to have one posted you would need the following minimum and basic tools:

1. A Hypertext Markup Language or HTML Editor - this would be available either as part of your browser or as a standalone. This is the easiest way of building your web-ready page because with an HTML editor you could do the needful without really learning what HTML is all about.

  • a. If you are using Netscape - use the following link - http://wp.netscape.com/browsers/using/newusers/composer/ - this is where you can get your in-built HTML Editor for your page. This one is called the Composer and it is excellent for any layperson's use.
  • b. If you are using Explorer 4.0 and above - http://www.uct.ac.za/depts/its/webdesign/build/install.htm - this is not an in-built editor today, though sometimes ago it was. Known as the FrontPage, it is a very simple way of designing a webpage for posting on the Net.
  • c. If you want more choice you might as well run a search for 'free HTML Editor' on any search engine and choose any one which might catch your fancy

2. You could work with a sample/ example:

  • a. Choose your sample from the material you get from the search result
  • b. Save that sample in html format under a different name
  • c. Use your html editor and re-write it filling in your details
  • d. Add whatever links you need whereby you would lead the prospective recruiters to check out your credentials
  • e. Add graphics if any, to your resume - be careful not to make it too garish, since this would not make a good impression with the recruiters;
  • f. Save the corrections into a new file - and now you are ready with an excellent web-ready resume

3. Your resume in the text format - you can type a great resume as you would normally do in a plain text format. The extension of these files would be .txt (dot txt). Keep the formatting simple and remember the following basic guidelines when you are drawing up a ASCII (text-only) web-ready resume:

  • a. Fonts - Use only regular fonts since if the font used is rare, these might not be available everywhere and hence, the online CV would become a mess by importing funny characters. The best fonts would be Times, Courier, Arial, and the like
  • b. Font size - the font size should not be more than 14 or less than 10; color black or if you like a little color dark blue would be okay. Do not use red or any other garish color.
  • c. Justification of text - have the whole CV left aligned
  • d. General formatting - keep the formatting as simple as possible; do not use highlighting, italics, underlining or any other such things. You could attract attention to the different headings by capitalizing the titles/ major headings
  • e. Do not use indentations, bullets, tables, etc.
  • f. Take the newly formatted CV and paste it on your html editor. You will immediately see where you need to make adjustments in terms of formatting. Do the needful and check whether it looks the way you want it to look
  • g. Save the newly formatted CV and you are ready!

4. Your resume in Word format - you can use your standard Word-typed resume as well. This is the way:

  • a. Go to the resume you have saved in Word format and save it as a web page. This will give it an .html (dot html) extension.
  • b. Open the new file using your html editor - now check it out again for formatting. You will most definitely find a good number of funny characters and misalignment. Adjust these carefully and save it again.
  • c. Re-check the html resume after you have saved it, on your regular browser and see whether it is comes the way you have wanted it to look. If not, repeat the editing until you get the required effects.

5. Use already made templates - there are many sites out there which would allow you to use their resume templates for your online resume - some for free and some for tiny fees. Check out on the Net. There are sufficient examples/ templates/ advice here that could help you draw up your web-ready CV in absolutely no time.

6. Use html coding in your online resume - this is for people who know a little more about editors than simple cut and paste methods:

  • a. Open your editor (wordpad or notepad) and go carefully through all the html tags. Remember these (tags) are the instructions that your browser would follow, so make sure you use the correct ones, and remove those which do not give the right effect
  • b. Insert new html tags where you see it is needed
  • c. Save it in a html (dot html) format
  • d. Open it on the browser and check it out and see whether you have achieved the effects desired
  • e. Re-adjust where required and save it again
  • f. Check it out again and repeat the process until you get the exact format you wanted to have when opened in the browser

Posting Of The Online Resume On The Web

Now that your web-ready resume is ready, you would also need to find a way to have it posted on the web, so that the prospective recruiters could actually have access to the online CV. Let us see how best this can be done:

  • 1. Inexpensive web space - there are a number of servers on the Web which would host your CV at a very reasonable rate. Check out http://geocities.yahoo.com/home/, http://freewebspace.net/ and other similar web hosting places for this purpose.
  • 2. Use web resources - run a search on the Net with 'publish web page' or 'free publishing of web page', or ' web page publishing tutorial' and you would get all the information you would ever require.
  • 3. Find an appropriate host and get your web-ready resume hosted on the Net
  • 4. Remember to create links to each of your achievements, i.e. your certificates, your published documents, your appreciation letters, licenses, certificates earned from attending seminars, workshops, training courses, etc. and any other relevant information that you would like your recruiter to see and learn about. This is also a great place to post any outstanding works (provided such reports do not contain any confidential matter)