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Advanced Resume

ASCII ABCs: Plain Text Resumes
ASCII = American Standard Code of Information Interchange

When employers ask for a "text resume," they are requesting an ASCII resume. Synonyms for ASCII include text resume, plain text resume, simple text, text only, text with breaks, and electronic resume.

The defining characteristic of a text resume is its lack of formatting. In other words, ASCII resumes contain no bolding, italics, fancy bullets, centered text, tabs, bullets, or special fonts.

Different job search situations require different file formats. If you are pasting your resume into the body of an email message, the "Text Only with Line Breaks" format works best. If you are pasting the resume into online forms, a "Text Only" file format (without line breaks) will provide better results.

Text without breaks


Instructions


How to Create a Text Resume for e-Mail

AKA: Text Resume with BreaksSample

When you need to paste your resume into an e-mail message, the best approach is to use an ASCII text resume WITH line breaks. To create this format, follow these directions:

  • Open your MS Word resume. Make any changes. Add job specific keywords to your resume to optimize keyword matches.
  • Change the margins for the entire document to 1 inch on the left and 2.5 inches on the right. (This will shorten the line length and make the document easier to read.)
  • Save the file, using a DIFFERENT file name, such as resume4email.
  • Click File, Save As.
  • Choose Text Only with Line Breaks, then click Save.
  • Open Windows' text editor Notepad, to clean up the new file. Make sure the bullets converted properly. Add one space between paragraphs to improve readability, and eliminate gaps within lines caused by tabs or indents.
  • Save the changes in Notepad by clicking File, Save.

Before emailing the resume, it's a good idea to check your work. Open Notepad, then copy and paste the file into an email message. To get an idea of how the resume will look once delivered, send the file to yourself AND to a friend who uses a different email program.


How to Create a Text Resume for an Online Form

AKA: Plain Text Resume with No Breaks – Sample

When your objective is to paste your resume into an online form, it's best to use a Text Only format (without line breaks). To create this format, follow the instructions below:

  • Open your MS Word formatted resume. Make any changes, such as adding job-specific keywords.
  • Save the file, using a DIFFERENT file name, such as resume4eforms. Click File, Save As. Choose Text Only, then click Save.
  • Open Windows' text editor, Notepad, to clean up the new file. Make sure the bullets converted properly, add one space between paragraphs to improve readability, and eliminate gaps within lines caused by tabs or indents.
  • Save the changes in Notepad by clicking File, Save.

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.Pat Kendall, NCRW
© 2014, Pat Kendall, NCRW. All Rights Reserved.