Resume Formats for the Electronic Age

In Canada today it is not enough to have one single resume which you send out to all and any employers.

First, you need to make changes to your resume in order to address the requirements in each separate job postings. This is called “customizing your resume”. You can never describe every single thing which you have done in one resume – and you should not. You must choose to talk about the things which are most important for the job you are applying to.

In addition, it is not enough to have a resume which looks good on paper. Nowadays you can send a resume by mail, fax, e-mail, e-mail attachment, or by filling in an application form online.

If you send a resume to a big company, or a recruitment firm, it may not be read by a person. It may be scanned, and kept in a database in electronic format. The database is then searched for keywords. The resumes which have the highest number of keywords are retrieved (pulled out) from the database and reviewed by a person – most often a hiring manager.

When you fill in an application form online, again your resume will come out – and be read by a person – only if it has in it the keywords which the company uses to search the database.

You must make sure that your resume looks good, and can be read no matter whether it is opened from an e-mail attachment, scanned, or retrieved from a database. Have a look at this table to see how to prepare different formats of electronic resumes for different purposes. The table is in Word format. You can open it, or download and print it out for future reference.