The Benefits of an ASCII Plain Text Resume
There was a time when submitting a resume was as simple as getting out the electric typewriter, putting in a sheet of bond paper, preparing the document, and placing it in the mail. However, the growth of technology has revolutionized the way that job-hunters prepare and submit their resumes. Chances are that, sometime within the last decade or two, you splurged on a home computer so that you could edit your standard resume to your heart’s content. But chances are also good that you have saved various versions of your resume as multiple Microsoft Word documents, as this is the document of choice in the workplace.
However, in today’s job market many human resource executives say that you will be far better off if you save your resume as a plain text or ASCII document. But, if you are not particularly computer-savvy, you may know little, if anything, about this particular trick of the trade.
The Definition of ASCII
For those who are not the computer experts in their offices, ASCII, which is usually pronounced “AS-kee Two,” refers to American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It describes plain-text files that lack italics, graphics, and bullet points. These files may be plain and, yes, more than a little dull, but they can be understood by virtually any computer. The document consists of text only—with virtually no formatting.
The ASCII is an Easy Way to Communicate
The chief advantage of the ASCII resume is that it represents simplicity in communication. For instance, you don’t have to worry about whether a potential employer works in Microsoft Word or Word Perfect…if the employer uses a personal computer or a Macintosh. The ASCII represents a standard approach that is welcomed by a number of employers.
The ASCII is Simple to E-mail
Another key attribute of the ASCII resume is that it is the type of document that is a cinch to e-mail. You can simply copy and paste the text into an e-mail and hit the send button. You don’t have to worry about the formatting being messy or the text being difficult to read. When text from an ASCII document is copied and pasted into an e-mail, it is highly readable. For the most part, you should use the “text only with line breaks” formatting for your resume.
Many Employers Prefer It
Of course, one critical selling point for the ASCII is that a number of employers prefer it. If an employer requests a text resume, he or she is asking for the ASCII. Granted, some employers will request a formatted resume, meaning a word-processed, or MS Word document, but the standard document is the ASCII. Ideally, you would want to have both an ASCII and a MS Word version of your resume on hand so that you can meet the requirements of various employers.
The ASCII Will Save You Time
The one thing that many job seekers are short of is time. That’s why having an ASCII resume in your computer files is so critical. You never know when a friend or associate will forward you information about a vacancy—and the deadline for applying for the job is fast approaching. If you have already crafted an ASCII resume, you simply need to copy and paste it into an e-mail and your job application is complete. You need to realize that you may not have the time to convert an MS Word document into an ASCII on a moment’s notice, so it’s a wise idea to device a text document now, when you have the time.
Submitting an ASCII Will Show You’re Serious About the Job
One of the critical mistakes that many job applicants make is that they fail to follow the directions of the individual who is doing the hiring. As a result, they end up spoiling their chances of securing the right position. If you submit an ASCII document when it’s asked of you, you will be doing yourself a great favor. You don’t want a prospective employer to go to the trouble of sending you an e-mail reminding you of the proper resume format. You want to ensure that you make the best possible “electronic impression” when you initially submit your resume and, in many cases, that means submitting an ASCII.
The ASCII is Ideal for Job Sites
A large number of job seekers post their resumes electronically on employment databases, alumni databases, and other job-hunting websites. In order to post your resume effectively, it is best to work from an ASCII document. Simply copy and paste the text into the electronic forms provided on the website. By and large, you should follow a “text only” file format—or a format without line breaks—when pasting your resume online.
Inoculating Yourself Against Viruses
If you send an MS Word resume as an attachment to an e-mail, there’s a chance that you could pass along a computer virus to your prospective employer. Certainly, that’s not the best way to get acquainted. You can avoid the virus problem entirely by pasting your ASCII text directly into an e-mail.
A Word of Caution
While the ASCII may be preferable in many situations, it is best if you inquire about the resume format the employer is looking for before you press, “send.” This is not only common courtesy—it makes a great deal of business sense. By asking the right questions of your prospective employer, you’ll be showing your determination to communicate effectively—and that could enhance your chances of landing the job.
In addition, it is best if you do a “test run” e-mailing your ASCII resume before you actually send it to a would-be employer. E-mail the resume to a friend and to yourself to determine if it looks presentable once it’s sent. By taking this extra precaution, you will be ensuring that you’ve done all you can to get your journey to new employment off to the right start.
About the Author:
This article was written by the certified professional resume writers of Resume Writing Service. The writers at AccuroResumes will help create a perfect professional resume suited to your best needs. See why thousands of people are discovering the benefits of a perfect professional resume written by AccuroResumes.com. You are guaranteed to be 100% satisfied with your new, professional resume or, your money back. Reproductions of this article are encouraged, but must include a link pointing to http://www.AccuroResumes.com/.