What Is an E-Resume and Why Is It Important? (With Types)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

With the increasing digitalisation of the modern business world, traditional business processes have begun shifting online or into a digital medium. This also applies to job applications, as many employers now require job applicants to submit their resumes electronically. Understanding what an electronic resume is can help you understand how to write your own and may increase your chances of securing your desired role. In this article, we examine what an e-resume is, discuss why it's important for those applying for jobs and review some common types of resumes and their formatting.

Related: Cover Letter vs. Resume

What is an e-resume?

E-resume is short for electronic resume and it generally refers to any resume format that an applicant submits online. Many employers use digital systems to identify, shortlist and hire potential candidates. When applying for jobs on different job portals and websites, you may find that some platforms require you to submit your resume in a plain text, PDF or HTML file format.

Related: 5 Methods You Can Use to Make a PDF Smaller (With Tips)

When an employer requires candidates to submit an electronic resume, they typically use software to filter through submissions. Such software includes applicant tracking systems (ATS), which shortlist the most suitable candidates for a job by identifying resumes that contain certain keywords. An employer can choose which keywords they're looking for in their ideal candidate and input these keywords into the ATS. This means that an employer may only read your resume if the ATS shortlists it.

Related: Should a Resume Be One Page Long? (Plus How to Write It)

Why is an e-resume important?

The following are important things to consider when creating this resume:

Match with the ATS

Writing a strong e-resume can increase the chances of an ATS shortlisting your resume. An ATS can only shortlist your resume if it recognises your resume's formatting and can process it properly. Reformatting your resume to allow ATS software to recognise it may increase your chances of advancing to the next stage of the hiring process.

Related: What Are Resume Keywords? (Definition and How to Use Them)

Ensure consistency of formatting

Creating your resume and saving it as the appropriate file type ensures that your formatting is consistent. When submitting your resume to employers via online submission portals or emails, carefully read their instructions regarding file type compatibility. Using the correct file type ensures that a potential employer receives your resume in its original, organised format.

Related: 6 Universal Rules for Writing Your Resume

Demonstrate your computer skills

As technology is a prominent part of many professional industries, employers may seek candidates with advanced computer skills. Creating an effective resume can demonstrate your computer literacy and highlight your computer skills. You may be able to impress a potential employer with your technical skills and increase your chances of securing a job offer, especially if the role requires you to work with computers or computer software.

Related: A Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Professional Resume

Types of e-resumes

The following are some common types of e-resumes:

Print resume

A print resume is a traditional resume that you can scan or print and then send to an employer. You can make an electronic version of your physical print resume to apply for jobs online. Print resumes often allow for some personalisation with regard to font, formatting and colour scheme. They may be beneficial when applying for positions through digital channels such as email. An e-version of your print resume is an effective choice if the hiring manager directly reads each candidate's resume rather than scanning through them with ATS software.

Related: How to Select the Best Font for Your Resume

Text resume

A text resume, or plain text resume, is a great option when submitting your resume to employers who use ATS software to select candidates. You can format a text resume without using any special characters, symbols, font variations or headers. Text resumes are simple and only consist of the content of your resume separated by single spaces and punctuation. Text resumes are compatible with several types of operating systems and resume scanning software. You may use a text resume if you're doing any of the following:

  • posting your resume on many job boards

  • pasting pieces of your resume onto online profiles or job boards

  • pasting your resume into the body of an email instead of sending it as an attachment

  • converting from a print resume to a web-based HTML resume

Related: How to Create a List of Accomplishments for Your Resume (With Tips)

Web resume

You can publish web-based resumes to an online platform for employers to access at any time. You can upload a web resume to your professional online profile, website or portfolio. They often carry the file extension .html or .htm, so they're easy for you to publish on websites. A web-based resume may be more complex to create than a print resume or a text resume, but using one can show a potential employer that you're proficient with computers and web design. A web-based resume may be especially useful if any of the following apply to you:

  • You already have a professional online presence.

  • You want employers to have convenient access to your online resume.

  • You want to include links to your portfolio in your resume.

  • You're pursuing a career in web design and want to demonstrate your technical skills.

Read more: How to Make a Resume Website (With Definition and Tips)

Tips for formatting an e-resume

The following are some tips to help you format your resume:

Integrate keywords

It's important to integrate relevant keywords into your resume so that ATS software can distinguish your document from other applicants'. To make it easier for you to incorporate the most effective keywords into your resume, carefully read the job posting or research the company's website to find out which words and phrases it commonly uses. It's important to remember that ATS software can't identify nuances, so try to use the exact words or phrases to ensure that it successfully identifies your resume.

Related: Why Creating Multiple Versions of Your Resume Works

Remove formatting

When creating a web or text resume, remove any complex formatting from your original document to optimise your resume for ATS and keyword-searchable databases. Complex formatting can affect the structure of your resume when you upload it, so some software may not be able to process it. The following are examples of formatting that you may want to remove when submitting your resume electronically:

  • bullet points

  • lines

  • headers

  • colour schemes

  • bold or italicised font

  • special characters

  • symbols

  • hyperlinks

  • images

Related: 139 Action Verbs to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Use a simple font

Using a simple font can increase the chances of ATS software noticing your resume. Some software may be unable to process your resume if you use an uncommon font. It's a good idea to use easy-to-read fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial or Courier to optimise your resume for resume scanning software. Use a font size larger than 10 but less than 15 to enhance your resume's readability. Standardise the font that you use throughout your entire resume to ensure consistency.

Capitalise instead of bold

To differentiate the sections of your resume, consider replacing bold text with capitalised text. Capitalised text is less likely to confuse ATS software. You can standardise the way you choose to capitalise the text throughout your resume for consistency. For example, if you use title case for one header, use title case for all the headers on your resume.

Proofread your resume

Before submitting your resume, it's important to proofread it. An error-free resume shows a potential employer that you're professional and meticulous. You can use grammar or spelling checker software to identify any potential mistakes within your resume. If you're converting your print resume into an electronic format, pay additional attention to the formatting, as it's common for formatting mistakes to occur during the conversion process. You may also ask a friend or family member to help you proofread your resume before you submit it.

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