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Developing a Great Online Resume


by Ashley Collins , Marketing and Education Specialist


Resume success is dependent upon having the right resume for the right situation.


Depending on what you are doing with the resume you should tweak your resume to be appropriate for that opportunity.


For instance, if you are applying for a scholarship from a local organization you should tweak your resume to highlight your community involvement more so than internships you’ve had or other work experiences outside of your community.


Those types of opportunities would be more prominent on a version of your resume used to apply to a job. Taking the time to alter your resume for different situations can be the difference between getting an interview or not.




Another version of your resume you should have developed and altered is an online resume.


Online resumes are what you use within a database like, your university career services’ system, a blog, or social media sites like LinkedIn.


An online resume is typically more generic than one you are developing for a specific position, as it will be searchable by various individuals involved in recruitment at a number of different companies. Keep in mind that while you may think there is more space to include more information in an online resume, human resource professionals still only spend a short time reviewing resumes for relevancy. So, you'll want to follow the general guidelines of a more formal printed resume — a one page format, bulleted text, easily viewed contact information, and a layout that is logical for the reader. Formatting of online resumes can sometimes be disrupted by online systems and many human resource professionals are accustomed to that, but set yourself apart by learning some basic HTML tricks to help enhance the look of your online resume.




You want to make sure your resume highlights all of your employment opportunities and experiences equally and that it includes specific keywords that describe yourself.


Employers search databases using keywords and phrases that match the job they are trying to fill.


Take time to look at the job postings for the ideal careers you are pursuing, load your resume with some of those words and phrases where they match your experience.


Having those phrases within your resume will allow it to be found quicker when employers conduct searches. In the example on the next page we’ve highlighted some of those keywords in red that employers could be using in their search.


Online resumes allow a benefit that traditional resumes do not, hyperlinking.


In addition to your resume you may have an e-Portfolio, a video resume, or a blog you’ve created on the web. Including hyperlinks to those within your online resume will allow employers to quickly access that information and make a more informed decision regarding you as a candidate for their role.


That would certainly work to your favor in making a positive first impression. You should list these sites on a traditional paper resume as well, but the online version will allow for quicker access through the hyperlink.


Information like your Twitter handle, LinkedIn profile, SlideShare site, Pinterest account or other form of online communication where you have highlighted your professional experiences is also important to include.




When posting your resume into online systems it is important to know where you have it posted so you don’t sound shocked when contacted by a potential employer, and keep it updated. Information on the web can be easily dated and will show when it was last modified.


Employers typically don’t pay much attention to resumes that haven’t been updated in three to six months.


Updating your resume does not mean conducting a complete overhaul of your information. Small changes like adding and deleting punctuation will alter the last modified date quickly, but of course if you have added any new experiences in that time frame it is important to update that information regularly.


If the system you are using lists resumes in a descending order these updates will also ensure that your resume appears at the top of the search results.


Even if the online system you are using has asked you for contact information as part of the registration process, you should still include that on your resume. Some systems will make that information visible to employers but others may not, so having it listed on your online resume will ensure you can be reached.


It is also helpful in situations where someone may print your resume to pass along to another hiring manager.


Lastly, and most importantly when using an online resume, when your job search is over and you find yourself happily employed, remove your resume from the online system. You don’t want to run the risk of your new employer finding your resume and thinking that you’re looking to jump ship soon.


Taking the time to customize your resume for online databases and web sites will allow you to be a standout among resumes. Check out the example below of an effective online resume.