by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.
Writing in the online version of Computerworld magazine, freelance writer Steve Alexander made the bold statement back in January 2000 that “the HTML resume, which comes complete with links and graphics, is a step in the wrong direction for… job applicants.”
Alexander never quite defines “HTML resume,” but most people would define it as Web-based resume. It’s a resume that resides on the Web, and a Web-based resume can range from quite ordinary to very elaborate. Here’s where you can view some examples of HTML or Web-based resumes.
Alexander contends that HTML resumes don’t work in resume databases; they take too long to read; and their ability to link to other document that showcase the jobseeker’s skills just create more work for recruiters.
But more importantly, as author and instructor Rebecca Smith points out, “resumes in HTML are just one form of an electronic resume.” Smith notes that “the three most popular file formats for transferring resumes electronically are plain text (TXT), rich text (RTF), and hypertext (HTML). Lots of job boards prefer the plain text version when posting resumes — in an online industry that is increasingly becoming database-centric.”
“There is a lot more to recruiting and job searching than just posting to and searching from resume databases,” Smith says. That’s why your job-search toolbox should include several kinds of resumes:
- Traditional print version. (See our Resume Resources.)
- Plain text version that can be e-mailed and used in many resume databases and is a close cousin to the scannable resume. (See more about scannable resumes.)
- HTML or Web-based version. This kind of resume is an actual page on the Web that anyone can visit anytime. It’s often linked from your personal home page and includes links to portfolio items of interest to employers. Smith offers some guidelines for designing a Web-based resume at her Website.
Smith points out that while many recruiters rely on the searchable databases they subscribe to, such as Monster.com or databases within their own companies, they “still also surf the Web for hypertext (a.k.a., HTML or Web) resumes.” Smith notes that Web-based resumes are often the tools of “passive job seekers who like to showcase their talents via a Web portfolio. (For more on portfolios, read Your Job Skills Portfolio: Giving You an Edge in the Marketplace.) They are also tools job seekers like to use to illustrate successful projects and such — as a supplement and not as a replacement for the more traditional resume.”
While Alexander’s prediction of the demise of the HTML resume is likely premature, he does point to some trends jobseekers should note, such as a tendency to require applicants to fill in online profiles.
If a Web-based resume is something you’ve considered, but you don’t know how your Web page could be published on the Web, check with your Internet Service Provider. Many offer users space on their Web-servers.
A number of portal sites on the Internet, such as Geocities, will host Web pages. For a search engine that enables you to find Web sites with free Web space hosting, go to FreeWebspace.Net.
Here’s where you can find Steve Alexander’s Computerworld article, The Demise of the HTML Resume.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers, is an educator, author, and blogger who provides content for Quintessential Careers, edits QuintZine, an electronic newsletter for jobseekers, and blogs about storytelling in the job search at A Storied Career. Katharine, who earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, OH, is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market (both published by Ten Speed Press), as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes (Career Press); and with Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Dynamic Cover Letters, Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed), and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Study Skills (Alpha). Visit her personal Website or reach her by e-mail at kathy(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
Have you taken advantage of all the many free resume tools, articles, samples, and more that we have in the Resume Resources section of Quintessential Careers?