Online Resume Tips and Secrets

I manage a website for corporate flight attendants that features resumes prominently listed on the first page of the site. Unlike some careers, corporate flight attendants must promote themselves overtly in order to find work especially if they are contractors. Since adding this feature two years ago, I have learned that an online copy must be arranged differently than that of a hard copy primarily for security reasons. Let's review some of the 'best practices' you need to accomplish in order to successfully and safely promote yourself online.

1. Leave out certain personal information. Include your name, your city/state [or region, such as Greater New York], a contact phone number, and an email address. Keep in mind that your phone number can reveal more to people about you than you want. Featuring an unlisted phone number is best; give out your cell number only if you can reasonably expect an advantage in sharing that information publically. Identity theft and sexual harrassment are growing problems; take care that your resume encourages neither.

2. Your photograph. This is optional and not nearly as commonplace in the U.S. as it is in Europe. Still, in some fields it has become a necessity. Make sure you are photographed wearing appropriate business attire. Your picture should be cropped and in most cases be a headshot only. A *jpg or *png extension file looks much nicer than a *gif.

3. State your objective. A one sentence statement outlining what type of position you are desiring is best.

4. Work experience. Okay, now for a dilemma. Do you really want to list information about an employer online? Instead of mentioning companies by name and listing specific employment dates, why not consider substituting that information with general details such as: "Seven Year Position as a Restaurant Manager for an Exclusive Sicilian Restaurant in Manhattan." You can then follow that statement up with the usual "duties and accomplishments."

5. Education. List all pertinent information with or without dates. Any training that is related to the position you are seeking warrants a mention.

6. References. Only list "furnished upon request." Better yet: leave that line out as it is a "given."

7. Layout and Display. Your online copy should also feature: a border, an attractive background, a decent font [Arial or Times New Roman], font size should be 12 pt., your name should be listed in bold, and hyperlinks must be active [especially for your email address]. Incorporate "Flash" if you desire.

Just as with a hard copy of a resume, your online version will get a quick look over by a hiring authority. What they see and read in the first ten to fifteen seconds will go far in determining whether you are contacted or not. Upon contact, offer to forward a complete copy of your resume to them which you can send as an email attachment or within the body of an email message.

All in all, by carefully following these 'best practices' for listing your resume online, you should gain an important advantage in finding work while safeguarding your privacy.

Matt Keegan manages a web design and marketing company based in North Carolina, USA. Geared primarily toward servicing the aviation industry, Matt has helped over one hundred corporate flight attendants post their information online while safeguarding their privacy. You can view copies of these online resumes at

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