Formatting key in online resumes

With paper and printed materials becoming more and more rare in an Internet-driven society, students may question whether they should place their resumes and portfolios in the world of print or online.

Wayne Sides, professor of art, said it’s not a matter of either/or. The online version is just another tool. 

“The convenience of the online resume is easy modification,” Sides said. “You can change your online resume in a matter of minutes.” 

Greg Pitts, chair of the communications department, said students should consider their audience.

“Make it easy to look like a candidate they want to speak with by tailoring your resume to fit the criteria,” said Greg Pitts, chair of the communications department. 

When building an online resume or portfolio, simplicity is key. It should be easy to read and to maneuver through.

“Make it simple; make it elegant,” Sides said. 

In Sides’ portfolio preparation class, he teaches students to design a site that fits their post-graduation needs. He said confidence should be shown through a resume.

“You have to know the language of what you’re doing,” Sides said. 

Employers are looking for reasons not to hire someone. A first impression is everything and an online resume or portfolio is often the first impression. 

Along with simplicity, formatting can make a difference in an online resume. An online resume should be submitted as a PDF instead of a Word document in order for formatting to stay the same, Pitts said. 

There are many websites available for creation of online portfolios. Pitts recommended, and 

“Include writing samples, video clips, projects and anything that will set you apart from the competition in your portfolio,” Pitts said. 

Students should be sure to separate online portfolios from other personal blogs. 

Many students agree that online resumes and portfolios are of major importance when applying for jobs. Some believe the print versions are no longer necessary while others still see the importance.

Shane Erisson, a junior at UNA, said the online resume and portfolio are more important than print in his job market. 

“I have to have one for the jobs I’m looking for,” Erisson said. “I have to be my own marker.” 

Sydney Threet said she believes both resume forms are necessary. She said it is helpful to put a link to the portfolio on the resume. 

Some businesses will only accept the online versions. Younger businesses will only ask for the online resumes and portfolios. 

In addition to having an online resume and portfolio, Sides suggested creating a CD with samples of work to leave with a potential employer. He said to make the disk look professional as well. 

“At the end of the day, you have to go in to the job interview in person,” Sides said. “You might as well leave them with a nice, classy resume.”