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Write Your Résumé for an Online Audience

Your job search will go more smoothly if you have a good résumé. When you read articles online, do you tend to pass over large blocks of text? If so, then you’re like most people who have a hard time sorting through dense paragraphs on a screen. The truth is that most people scan online content most of the time. The same scannability test will be true of your résumé.

Following are a few formatting guidelines to help make your online résumé easier to read:

  • Use bulleted points and lists as often as possible. Bulleted lists are easy to scan, as opposed to paragraphs.

  • Shorten your blocks of text. On the web, using single-sentence paragraphs isn’t uncommon.

  • Use headers. Headers are large, bold headlines used to break content up into sections. Headers can make your text more scannable so it’s easier for the reader to follow your train of thought. For example, you may break up a big block of text, like your objectives, into two or three sections: “Who am I,” “What can I do for your company,” and “Three things that make me different.”

  • Take advantage of hyperlinking. The Internet was invented so scientists could link one article to another. If you mention something in your résumé, offer more detail by linking to more information about it. For example, you may link to the corporate website of the companies you worked at or schools you went to. You can also link to your LinkedIn profile or even an online portfolio.

  • Put the most important content up top. The fold is the bottom of what’s visible onscreen in a web browser before you scroll down. You can read content above the fold without having to scroll down. Some people tend not to scroll down, so content below the fold is often skipped. Prioritize your writing so that important information is what appears first.

  • Keep a little white space. Reading big blocks of text on a computer screen is difficult on the eyes. White spaces can break things up and give your résumé a fresh feel.

To get inspired by some very beautiful résumés, check out the CVParade blog.

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