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The information presented on this page was originally released on April 19, 2012. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Prepare resumes for online databases
Writing a resume can be a daunting proposition for job seekers, and today’s technologies require most people to have both a traditional resume and one ready to be uploaded to an online database.
Many colleges and universities will critique the resumes of their alumni for free and also provide access to online job postings. However, if this is not an option for you, consider consulting the online tutorial provided by Purdue’s Online Writing Laboratory at http://tinyurl.com/writearesume, or click on the Mississippi Department of Employment Services Resume Preparation Tutorial at http://tinyurl.com/jobseekerresume. Both of these sites will guide you through the resume writing process.
The primary difference between the traditional paper resume and the online resume is portability. A paper resume is easy to take to an interview, drop off at a job fair, and use to target a specific group or company. In addition, a traditional resume can be converted from a text document to a PDF (portable document format) and uploaded to the job database.
A PDF of your resume is like a snapshot of the document, ensuring all the text, spacing and formatting stay in place. Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 both have PDF converters in the Word program. Simply left-click File/Save As/PDF or XPS. A PDF file will be generated, and you can email or upload it. If you do not have Office 2007/2010, you can download a free PDF converter from http://tinyurl.com/downloadpdfconverter.
When searching for jobs online, think outside the box. Everyone is uploading resumes to the Monster.com website. Your chances of getting a positive response from uploading your resume and applying online depend on how many people are applying for the same job you are. If applying online, be sure to use the same keywords the employer used in the job posting. This ensures that your application will be picked up by the search engines and moved to the top of the resume heap.
A great website to search for employment within Mississippi is the Mississippi Department of Employment Security’s website at http://mississippi.us.jobs. Most newspapers in the state also have online links to their classified job sections, which can easily be searched from any computer using job-specific keywords.
If you have trouble navigating the MDES jobs website, consider contacting your local e-BEAT representative (http://srdc.msstate.edu/ebeat/about.html) for a training session on using the site. These individuals have been trained to help you make the most of the online job system.
Be careful when applying for jobs online. Identity theft is big business, and many unscrupulous people prey on job seekers. If you find a job on an employment website, always be sure to cross reference the job with the potential employer’s website to verify the job listing. Never give out extremely personal information, such as a Social Security number. If possible, avoid posting your home address or telephone number. Instead, use an email address and cell phone number. Follow these guidelines when posting your references’ contact information as well.
The Internet can provide you with numerous employment possibilities, but be sure to protect your identity.