Thanks to Laura Smith-Proulx for a reminder that resume databases may still require job seekers to convert their resumes to plain text to apply for positions. These are the steps that Laura suggests to convert from Microsoft Word to ASCII text form:
1 – First, ensure that you have saved your new resume document in Microsoft Word format in at least TWO places on your hard drive.
HINT:Â For backup purposes, you may also want to email it to a friend or family member in case your hard drive fails.
2 – Next, save your resume document by choosing Save As from the File menu, then using the pull-down menu for Save as Type (under the File Name box) to select Plain Text INSTEAD of Microsoft Word Document.
IMPORTANT: Give your new text file a different name, such as “Resume Text File,” so that you do not confuse it with your original Word document.
3 – A File Conversion window will appear. Check the button for MS-DOS Conversion and the box under it labeled Allow Character Substitution. Click OK.
4 – Now, close the document and go to the Start menu. (When you close the document, you may receive a message stating that the document contains changes not compatible with Word. Click OK to proceed.)
From the Start menu, click Run, and then type in NOTEPAD inside the Open window. Click OK.
5 – A Notepad window will open. Go to File and find the Text File you just created. Click on it to open the File.
6 – You will see your resume shown with some lines put together. This is perfectly normal.
IMPORTANT:Â Many lines will scroll entirely across the page, ALL the way to the right. This is perfectly normal and expected. Do NOT change these lines.
Start by adding extra line spaces between lines that seem to run together. Your goal is to add white space in this file so that it is readable.
Separate out your phone number, street address and email address onto different lines.
Do the same with your resume headings, titles and any keyword tables.
Add extra lines in between each resume Section and job. Remember that a human MUST be able to READ this file.
7 – Finally, go to File and then Save to save your changes.
8 – To test and find out how your ASCII Text File will look when viewed in a text box, open it back up in Notepad.
Select Edit, then Select All, then Copy, and then paste the text into an email to yourself. This is EXACTLY how your text resume will look to the reader. If any changes are needed, open the file back up in Notepad, and add white space or remove tabs.
9 – Now, you are ready to use the ASCII Text File to apply for jobs online. When you view a job application that states “Paste Resume Here,” open your text file in Notepad, select Edit, choose Select All, then Copy, and paste all of the contents into the online text box.
Need help writing your resume? Contact me! I will make sure that your materials are targeted and focused on skills and accomplishments.