More Résumé Tips

Résumés for Online Job Search

Employers are increasingly using online job search for recruiting. For YOU, as a job search applicant, it makes it easier to apply for jobs; but it also means that larger numbers of applicants send in résumés for each job opening. To cope with the increased numbers of résumés, employers use automated (paperless) résumé processing and application tracking systems for online recruitng.

How does online job search affect you?

  • When you submit a résumé and cover letter online, the company (or their HR vendor) scans these using optical character reader (OCR) technology.
  • The computer uses artificial intelligence to read the recognized text and pulls out key words from standard headings (e.g. Education, Experience, Leadership, etc.). After the computer has scanned the résumé, it builds a skill inventory for the applicant from the information it has read.
  • The more skills the computer finds on the résumé, the better the chances that the résumé will be picked from the database for a job opening.

Tips for writing a good online résumé:


  • Do ... use common headings for the different sections of your résumé, such as Objectives, Education, Work Experience, Skills.
  • Do ... use enough key words from the job description to define your skills: data entry, Microsoft Word, SQL, etc.
  • Do ... make your descriptions very specific: e.g. ‘managed’ instead of ‘responsible for’.
  • Do ... use action words such as created, organized, managed, negotiated and designed.
  • Do ... include descriptors like: problem-solving ability, detail-oriented, self-directed, team-oriented, enthusiastic, solid organizational skills, etc.


  • Don’t ... use italics, underlines and shadows.
  • Don’t ... use graphics, vertical or horizontal lines and boxes.
  • Don’t ... use acronyms; spell them out instead. Rather than saying ELP, specify it as Executive Leadership Program.