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At some companies, the traditional paper resume has gone the way of the dinosaur. All job applications are completed online and no paper application or resume is required. However, you still need to provide all the standard application information online. At many company websites, you can’t upload formatted resumes. Instead, the company wants you to cut and paste your resume into their web-based job application.
Write Your Resume
Start by writing your resume in a word processing application such as Microsoft Word. You will still need a nicely formatted resume during your job search. You will use your formatted resume to upload to company websites that accept resumes in MS Word format, and you will also need to print some paper resumes to take to job interviews.
When you save your resume file, include your name in the filename. That way, when you upload a formatted resume, anyone at the company who gets a copy will know whose resume it is without having to open the file. Hiring managers do not want a computer folder full of files simply named “resume.”
Convert Your Resume to Text
Once your resume is completed to your satisfaction, save a copy of as a plain text file. Select the “Save As” option in your word processor and make sure you add a .txt extension to the end of the filename.
Open the text file in a text processor application. On Windows you can use TextPad or NotePad, and on a Mac you can use TextWrangler. Now make your resume look as attractive as you can in plain text format. Set the line width to about 65 characters per line. Shorter lines will help keep the text easy to read after it has been pasted to the job application. Check line breaks to make sure none of them look odd. You may need to rearrange some text so it looks nicer. Check section headings carefully. You won’t be able to use bold or italic text to make them stand out, but you can put a blank line after the heading to set it off.
Cut & Paste Your Resume
When you are filling out an online job application and need to cut & paste your resume, open up the text version of your resume in the text processor application. To copy your resume, highlight the entire text of your resume and select “Copy” from the Edit menu. Then, switch back to the online job application, click in the box where the company wants you to paste your resume and select “Paste” from the Edit menu.
Before moving on to the next section of the job application, scroll through the pasted resume to make sure the entire resume is there and looks good. If there is a problem with the pasted resume, delete it from the job application and make any necessary changes in your text file before you copy and paste the resume into the application again.
Amy Marie is a software engineer and technical writer who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science at California State University Long Beach. Her writing appears on eHow and Examiner.com. She specializes in writing about technical, consumer and lifestyle topics.