Online job application systems are quickly becoming the norm. If an employer does not have an online application system, you may still be required to submit a resume by email. To prevent your resume from arriving in an unreadable format, write your resume without frills and fluff. Simple formatting and fonts ensure that your resume's content shines through.
Use a readable font. Any fancy curls on a letter could be translated into unreadable text in your resume when it is uploaded to a job application system. Likewise, fancy fonts can become corrupted in your resume when it is sent via email. Use at least a 10-point font so it is readable. Courier in 12 point is ideal. Do not use bold or italics.
Avoid using bullet points to separate your accomplishments from your jobs or any sections from each other. Bullet points lead to formatting problems when documents are uploaded. Use a hard return to separate jobs and other information on different lines. Also avoid underlining, lines, brackets and parentheses. Do not use tabs.
Save your resume in a commonly uploaded file type, such as a Word document or a PDF file. The types of formats accepted by individual application systems will be listed on the employer's website.
Create a plain text version of your resume in a program such as Note Pad or by saving your file in your word processor with the “.txt” extension. This version of your resume will not have any italics, bold or other enhancements.
Some employers prefer to have a plain text resume uploaded or sent via email. Having a plain text version of your resume also makes it easy for you to copy and paste your resume into the body of an email or into a message field in an online application system.
If you cannot upload your resume to an online application system when you apply for a job, you can attach it to an email when you send it, or copy and paste it into the body of your email. Carefully read the employer’s instructions regarding how he wants the email sent, either as an attachment or in the body of the email.