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Author: lemongirl One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 49409  
Subject: Plain text? Date: 1/22/2003 11:24 AM
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I am applying to several companines online. Most have a place to paste your cover letter and/or resume and request that it be in plain text format. I have my cover letter and resume saved as Word documents. When I try to paste them in they lose all formatting. I also tried saving them as Rich Text, but they still lose formatting when I paste them in to the various websites. What file type is considered plain text? Thanks in advance

Lemongirl
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Author: RiverCityFool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27887 of 49409
Subject: Re: Plain text? Date: 1/22/2003 11:29 AM
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Plain text files usually have the extension .txt

The Word file menu should have a Save As option, and you can then select the plain text option. Another option is to copy the content of your resume, paste it into Notepad, and save that.

And you'll lose all formatting. You can approximate some by using Enter for extra line breaks to provide space between paragraphs. But forget about line indentation, tabs, boldface or italics.




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Author: snie Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27888 of 49409
Subject: Re: Plain text? Date: 1/22/2003 11:30 AM
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I am applying to several companines online. Most have a place to paste your cover letter and/or resume and request that it be in plain text format. I have my cover letter and resume saved as Word documents. When I try to paste them in they lose all formatting. I also tried saving them as Rich Text, but they still lose formatting when I paste them in to the various websites. What file type is considered plain text? Thanks in advance

The file type for plain text is usually .txt. In Word, you can pick "Text Only" from the save as file type box. Then, open the document in Notepad (Start > Accessories > Notepad), to tidy up the formatting using SPACES and the enter key only. Use the enter key to keep lines to a reasonable length (72 characters), as text only files don't usually go to the next line when the line gets long.

If you want to move stuff over, use the space bar, NOT the tab key, because many different forms interpret the tab differently (i.e. tab may be 4 spaces somewhere, and 8 spaces somewhere else). Your formatting will be 100% consistent if you use the space bar only.

When I was job hunting, I used the text-only document exclusively online. Even when emailing your resume, many employers don't like opening attachments, and with a text-only resume, you can put it in the body of the email. Might not look as slick, but is more likely to get read.

Good luck!

Snie

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Author: lemongirl One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27889 of 49409
Subject: Re: Plain text? Date: 1/22/2003 11:46 AM
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Thanks for your help. I have been pasting my cover letter and resume in and then cleaning it up and using the space bar and enter key to clean it up. I figured plain text would remove most of the formatting but I just wanted to be sure.

Lemongirl

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Author: snippee Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27891 of 49409
Subject: Re: Plain text? Date: 1/22/2003 11:58 AM
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Lemongirl,

You can "approximate" formatting in some cases - like using asterisks for bullets, all caps for bold (use sparingly), etc.

Like this:

LEMONGIRL T. FOOL
123 Some Street
Somewhere, USA
lemongirl@emailaddy.com

WORK EXPERIENCE
Some Company - Somewhere, USA
VP Sales, 1998-present
* Led sales team for Fortune 500 company
* Improved revenues by 50% each year
* Awarded "Million Dollar" prize three years in a row

* * * * *

And so on. It takes a little time investment to reformat your resume and cover letter. But once it's saved you can just cut-n-paste quickly in the future - and modify as needed. Good luck!

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Author: millerpim Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27893 of 49409
Subject: Re: Plain text? Date: 1/22/2003 12:51 PM
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I'l tell you what I do. First, I use a Mac, and not everybody has updated software on their PC, so not everybody can read a Word file from me. And if I save a Word file for the PC, MY software is so old that it will save it for Windows 95.

To get around this problem, here's the simple way I handle it:

A. I save my résumé in Word format.

B. Then I copy and paste the contents into an e-mail.

C. Format the e-mail, which means reformatting the text.

D. Then I save the e-mail.

Then everytime somebody requests that I send them my résumé as an attachment, I copy and paste the contents of the e-mail into the body of my e-mail (no reformatting required). And I include a note that says I have attached it as well.

This way, the recipient can just print out my e-mail, if he or she so wishes, or open the attachment.

I figure one should make it as easy as possible for the receiving end to end up with a printed document in their hands.

Some people say PDFs are the only way to go, but they present two problems. First, if the recipient doesn't have Adobe Reader by now, that person isn't going to go to Adobe.com to download Reader, even if they COULD figure out how to do it.

Second, it's an attachment and that involves one extra step.

I'd rather say, "Here is the information. Print it or download and print it, whichever is easiest for you."

elizabeth

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Author: TMFSoccer Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27894 of 49409
Subject: Re: Plain text? Date: 1/22/2003 1:29 PM
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Great tips gang!

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Author: Cromely Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27895 of 49409
Subject: Re: Plain text? Date: 1/22/2003 2:08 PM
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Should you include an ASCII drawing of yourself?


You can "approximate" formatting in some cases - like using asterisks for bullets, all caps for bold (use sparingly), etc.

Like this:

LEMONGIRL T. FOOL
123 Some Street
Somewhere, USA
lemongirl@emailaddy.com

WORK EXPERIENCE
Some Company - Somewhere, USA
VP Sales, 1998-present
* Led sales team for Fortune 500 company
* Improved revenues by 50% each year
* Awarded "Million Dollar" prize three years in a row

* * * * *

And so on. It takes a little time investment to reformat your resume and cover letter. But once it's saved you can just cut-n-paste quickly in the future - and modify as needed. Good luck!



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Author: snippee Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27896 of 49409
Subject: Re: Plain text? Date: 1/22/2003 2:20 PM
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Cromely: Should you include an ASCII drawing of yourself?

Why not?!? (Federal laws not withstanding...)

Heck, it'll impress/scare the hell out of non-computerites, if nothing else!

snippee
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

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Author: TMFSoccer Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27904 of 49409
Subject: Re: Plain text? Date: 1/22/2003 5:45 PM
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This reminds me, I know I love when people have provided links in teir text resume to their resume somewhere online. Often they have some personal info there too with pictures which can be a bit odd. But, in general I like to see that people are comfortable with technology. This also can take someone from looking at a static text resume to an interactive online one. This is pretty easily done - maybe someone here can lay out the steps to setting it up.

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Author: TheHeadhunter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27923 of 49409
Subject: Re: Plain text? Date: 1/23/2003 12:05 PM
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When you put your resume into any data base online you run a significant risk of having it wind up in other data bases without your knowledge. That's why I prefer emailing such information -- it's still a risk, but smaller because the info may not be put into a data base. Printed resumes are even safer in this regard.

I've been gathering information about privacy issues, and what I've come up with would curl your hair. I'm trying to clean it up to avoid getting sued before I print it.

In the meantime, to get an idea of what's going on out there, please read Pam Dixon's excellent report (commissioned by The Privacy Foundation), which she has generously permitted me to publish on the ATH site: http://www.asktheheadhunter.com/gv011023.htm

Even if you're dealing directly with an employer's own "jobs" site, ask whether it is managed by a third party which then assumes control of the information. Read the privacy policy carefully. You may be surprised where your info may wind up.

Resume data is sold and traded like mailing lists. Be careful. This has really turned into a racket of major proportions. I've got a link to an article about a recent scam at http://www.asktheheadhunter.com/teeth.htm -- look for the heading "More stupid online job hunting tricks"

Nick Corcodilos
Ask The Headhunter




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Author: lemongirl One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27933 of 49409
Subject: Re: Plain text? Date: 1/23/2003 4:28 PM
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Thanks for all the great tips.

When you put your resume into any data base online you run a significant risk of having it wind up in other data bases without your knowledge. That's why I prefer emailing such information -- it's still a risk, but smaller because the info may not be put into a data base. Printed resumes are even safer in this regard.

I share your concern, but I am applying to be a pharmaceutical sales rep and all the companies that I have applied to pretty much require that you apply online on their website, they do not want you to mail, fax, or email your resume to them. And since this is such a difficult field to break in to I have to play by their rules.

Lemongirl

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Author: jthrelkeld Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27979 of 49409
Subject: Re: Plain text? Date: 1/25/2003 11:21 AM
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Maybe I'm practicing overkill, but here's what I do:

Like you, I paste my entire resume into the body of my email. I don't bother attaching it as well in Word (unless they ask for it), since attachments are often problematic (especially going from Mac to PC), or places won't open them due to fear of viruses.

Tip: never name your file "resume". Imaging getting 100 of those in your download folder. Would you bother looking at any of them? Name it after yourself, as in "jthrelkeld.doc"

In addition to the paste-and-attach method, I have a personal web site where I offer:

- an HTML version of my resume, so they can immediately view it
- downloadable versions of same in Word, PlainText, and PDF.

When I look at my logs, I see that quite a few people first look at the HTML version in a browser, then download one of the other versions, which tells me that they appreciate the ability to immediately see the resume before having to decide if they want to go to the trouble of downloading a copy.

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