Keys to Creating Your Web Resume
The HTML Resume Posting Technique
So you've developed your Web resume (in HTML) and you are ready post it to the Web? First of all, make sure your HTML resume is correctly formatted. Just because your word processor has "Save as HTML…" or "Save as Web Page…" does not necessarily mean that the end result will be pretty. Open the saved file with your Web browser to see how it looks. Then make any needed changes to it for proper formatting before posting it online.
The key to posting your HTML resume online is to make certain that it will be found. It is not enough to create your resume and simply post it at your university's Web server, then wait for visitors. You will not be found.
I have a friend who made his HTML resume available through his local ISP and added a counter on the page to tell him how many times it had been viewed. He was quite excited to learn that it had been viewed over twenty times, until he realized that those twenty times all came from the same IP address—his own. Lesson learned—to be found, you must be findable.
The key to being found is being linked by another site or search engine. When a search engine robot (such as those used by Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) visits a site, it indexes all linked pages at the site. It is not enough to be located at the site; you must be linked to from somewhere else within the site (or an external site). Then the search engine will automatically index all the words found on your page, which will come up in keyword searches at their site. If your university allows links to student resumes (check with your Career Center), this is your best connection. Otherwise, check with the developers of other externally accessible pages to request a link.
Then take it one step further. Publicize your page. Just as a company would publicize its home page, you should do the same for your resume home page.
There are literally scores of companies out there which specialize in automated search engine submission. Search for "search engine submission" at Google and you'll get plenty of responses. Note that most want to charge you for the privilege. Surf past them to those which offer the basic service for free. The only hitch with some of these submission engines is that your email address may end up on a spam list, so you may want to use a temporary email account for the submission. In less than ten minutes, you can have your HTML resume (or entire site, if you have one) submitted to the major search engines for indexing. It can take time for the spiders to make their crawl, but within a few days your pages will begin showing up in the major search engines.
Caution: if you have a personal home page that is filled with non-career trivia about rock bands, inebriation, and/or unrelated links, with your resume included as a side note, do not submit it to the search engines. Keep a clean resume URL without the associated trivia. And do not link to your personal page from your resume unless you really, truly want a potential employer to see that side of you. Probably not. Instead, use CollegeGrad.com's Quickstart Resume Generator tool to create your web resume. It's free, it uses a great format, provides a convenient shareable URL, and also generates a downloadable (and editable) Word version.
The Keywordized Internet Resume Technique
Internet resumes are a different breed from a typical paper resume. Most paper resumes are verb oriented. But Internet resumes need to accomplish a different purpose, since they function best in searchable format. And employers do not search for verbs, they search for nouns. Nouns are the keywords or buzzwords that employers look for in prequalifying potential candidates.
In preparing your resume for posting on the Net, be sure to examine your resume from the perspective of searchability. Even if the resume is not initially keyword searched, it may find its way into an employer or general resume database/applicant tracking system, perhaps far beyond the bounds of your initial posting location.
"Keywordize" your Internet resume. In order to be successful, your Internet resume should serve a dual purpose: First, it should sell your background and experience to prospective employers; and second, it should be findable. Findable means that your resume will be found when a keyword search is performed. When you post your resume to a database, it will languish there in virtual obscurity unless you have the necessary keywords in the resume to be found and pulled out of the abyss.
For example, the resume database at CollegeGrad.com has thousands of resumes. In order to be found, you have to be findable. And that doesn't mean keyword packing—i.e., just putting in keywords because they might be searched for, even though they don't apply specifically to you. No, you should only include keywords that do apply to you and your background, even if the experience or education is minimal. And you should exclude any keywords that do not apply.
Think like a hiring manager—if you were to do a keyword search for a candidate, what would you search for? Not sure? Take a look at the job postings at our site. These are reverse keywords, since the employers (if they are writing the job posting correctly) are including the keywords they want candidates to find. So look for the keywords, the industry terms, the buzzwords, the technical phrases that all spell out the fit for a particular position.
The ideal keyword resume will be found in keyword searches for every position where you do fit and not found for any position you do not fit. Obviously, that is technically impossible, but that should be your goal. Look at the job postings that fit what you are seeking. Now look at your resume. Does it include the keywords being used? If not, make sure you include them—ideally within the context of either the experience or education sections. However, it is also acceptable to include them in either the summary section or a separate "Skills" section (especially for technically oriented positions).
Why is this important? Because your Internet resume will typically find its way into two different systems—resume databases and corporate applicant tracking systems (ATS). Both are keyword oriented.
So redo your resume with the keyword approach. And don't end up with two different versions of your resume—incorporate the keywords into your standard resume itself. Not only will it make you more "findable," it will also help you in speaking the lingo and language of your industry.
Once you have updated your resume, reload/replace it in the resume database at CollegeGrad.com to increase your hit rate of being found on the Internet.