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In Creating an Online Resume: Hands-On Training, interactive design professor and enthusiastic educator Laurie Burruss teaches how to produce an online resume—and create a first web site in the process. Laurie suggests structure and information needed to create a winning resume, and shows how to design the pages with simple typographic principles and effective layouts. She explains how to use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and control the design and structure of HTML documents through hands-on development. Exercise files with additional supporting materials accompany the course.
Now that it's established that you want to get the word out about yourself and that you want to create a presence in a number of different distribution methods, it's time to think about how we create the resume and what formats that we should do to get that word out in all of those distribution methods. You want to be flexible, agile and able to describe yourself in any situation for any kind of distribution method. A place I like to start, but I didn't used to start, is with a simple text document. Just open up Notepad or TextEdit and put all of the content into a .txt file.
Notice there's no formatting. Just Returns where you want to create space between information. What's great about this is you can copy and paste this and put it into the body of an email. You can copy and paste this into your HTML document inside of Dreamweaver to create a website, or you can copy and paste this and put it inside of your Microsoft Word document. It allows for a lot of versatility. You'll always start with the text document, and then move to the right distribution method. It's important also these days to have that online presence.
So what we want to aim for is the one page website. What you see on the right is a one page resume that's created in HTML with cascading style sheets, and it appears in the browser Firefox. But what I have tried to do here is simulate the look and feel of the one page printed resume. So inside the browser I'm giving the user the feeling as though this is the printed page. Also I want to make sure that I can print it as well. This is a great way to get the word out. One of my favorite formats is PDF.
What's great about PDF is it's available to almost everybody universally on both Macintosh and Windows. Most people have the Adobe Acrobat Reader. It keeps your document from being editable and you can add security to the document, so that only the people you want to get into the document can. It also adds compression, making very small file sizes, and it usually prints great, because PDF love text and love to do great typography. So this makes it a wonderful format.
You can create a link on a website, or you can add it as an attachment in an email. It's a great distribution method. Now the old standby is Microsoft Word. This is where most of us have always started when we created our resume. But since we are thinking differently and about many different ways of communicating and making our presence felt, a Microsoft document is really the perfect one for print. This is the one we'd like to go down to Kinko's with our linen paper and print out and be able to send out through the mail.
Once we've established that we need a number of different formats for a number of distribution methods, it's a good thing to start thinking about the content, and how we want to format the content. I've created a resumetemplate.pdf. It's a great place to start. It's like a checklist of things and ideas and experiences and skills that you want to include as part of your content. Here you see the resumetemplate.pdf. It's a great place to start to get your ideas and to organize the information that you need inside your resume. Let's take a closer look.
I think if this is like a checklist or to-do list for the resume. As you can see, usually near the top you have your contact information. It's important that you give the basic contact information, but not home address. I think that it would be better to put a PO address, than to put your home address, and no home phone. Be careful of the kind of information you give out, especially if you're going to put your resume on the web. Then think about what your objective is or summary about what it is you're actually looking to do and where you want to go in your career. Highlights, qualifications, experiences. Make sure that the information you do put in is detailed, specific and really talks about what you've done and how you preformed at that company.
Be sure to include things about the company's name and where it is, the dates that you worked there and the kind of responsibilities or achievements or recognition that you gained there. Include some of your educational background, and this could be colleges, degrees, awards, honors and then also skills. So skills might be languages, they might be related to the computer, but do think about all of these things. At the bottom you'll see references available on request. These days this is considered unnecessary. Most HR officers or prospective employers are going to call up someone you worked for before.
So just have those on hand, but they don't need to be taking up important room in your resume, because the aim here is to get a whole picture of you that really illustrates the kind of person, the kind of skills, the kinds of experiences that you have in a one-page resume. So use this as a starting point to help you develop the content and start thinking about how you want to arrange and format that content. Once you have that content in your simple text document, you can start thinking about what kind of resume you want to do. It really helps to ask yourself a couple of questions. What job are you seeking, and where are you in your career path? Because if you do this, you'll create the right kind of resume.
You'll be creating resumes your whole life. It's not a static document. You'll be making them over and over again for different periods in your life, and for different types of jobs. Let's take a look first at the functional resume. The functional resume is really emphatic on skills and experience. It's a showcase for range of abilities and it's appropriate for career switch, or for someone who's been laid off for a while and then changing careers, or for someone who's been raising children and now wants to go back to work. It's also a great place if you're creating profiles and networks such as LinkedIn or monster.com or even on Plaxo.
It really highlights your skills and experiences. Now the second one I'd like to look at would be the chronological resume. This is the more standard typical resume that we are all familiar with. In this one it's more of a timeline where you start with your most recent experience, and then go back to older and older experience. It's a history of your work and educational experiences. Again, recent should be at the top, because what the HR officer, the future employer wants to see, is what you have been doing the last three to five years.
And be very specific again. Make sure that you include the name of the company, where it was located, the times, and some actual specific things or responsibilities that you had at that job. In both of these examples we're really targeting, trying to give the complete and whole picture in a one page resume. Because we know that as you work, you will be creating multiple resumes for different positions in different industries with crossover skills. As time goes on, you want to be, as I said, flexible, agile, and able to describe yourself in one page accurately, and wholly, and fully.
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