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You Need to Have a Digital Resume—Here’s Why


When it comes to job and internship hunting, the struggle can be real—how do you stand out in a sea of hundreds (or even thousands!) of applicants, but still remain completely polished and professional? We just might have a solution: the digital resume.

It can be hard to make your black and white, 12-point font resume stand out in a sea of others that look identical. However, an online resume allows you to create a more interactive experience, add additional information about your experience and even link to a portfolio of your work, all while making yourself memorable for the right reasons. Read on for everything you need to know about building an on-point digital resume.

Why create a digital resume?

It helps you establish an Internet presence

It’s true—these days, your online presence is everything, and it can make or break your career. It’s important to get your name out there, and Vice President of Magas Media Jenniver Lee Magas says that having a digital resume, and the ability to share it via your (professional!) social media accounts is a major part of that.

“By sharing your resume on social media, it opens opportunity for more people to view it,” Magas says. “One of your followers may just know the CEO of the company you’ve always wanted to work for. The digital world has shortened the distances between us all.”

Having an online presence can be an amazing way to be discovered by recruiters—when you have your resume and portfolio publicly available, it’s a lot easier to be found, even if you’re not actively looking for a job or internship!

It’s super helpful in certain industries

If you’re interested in pursuing a job in a creative field, a digital resume is particularly a good idea. Laura Dunn, Huffington Post writer, founder of the blog Political Style and PR and social media specialist, says having an online resume offers a creative way of building your personal brand that a typical paper resume doesn’t.

“Having a digital resume in the creative industries is especially a good idea!” Dunn says. “I’d also recommend bloggers creating one as a supplement to their ‘blogger brand,’ and for writers/journalists who want to display their clips in a visual and effective way.”

If you’re interested in design, journalism, art or photography, a digital resume provides the opportunity to have your experience and portfolio all in one place. Particularly if your web design skills are on point, designing your online resume can be a great place to show off your tech-savvy side. 

Dunn stresses that even if you’re eyeing a less creative industry, a digital resume can still be a good idea. “A digital resume doesn’t have to be specific for a creative role—even for individuals looking for a job in a more ‘traditional’ industry, it’s important that your online footprint is professional and reflective of the job you’d like to perform,” Dunn says.

You can still use an online resume when applying to jobs in a more traditional industry, but the key is to keep things as professional as possible—think clean, simple design and easy to read font, like you’d have on a traditional paper resume. As long as you keep it completely professional, strengthening your online presence, no matter your career path, can only help you in the long run!

Many jobs won’t want a paper resume

While you should always make sure to bring an extra copy of your resume to every interview, it’s no secret that many industries are moving away from the traditional paper resume and are instead asking for them to be sent as email attachments.

“Digital resumes are an effective way of highlighting your expertise and experience, and are essential in an age where the Internet rules everything,” Dunn says. “Many jobs don’t even accept or ask for traditional paper resumes these days, and it can be quite strange when you find a recruiter that does!”

As long as you’re emailing your resume out instead of printing it, you might as well upgrade your resume from a typical Word document or PDF! Being able to send out a link to a polished website where your online resume lives instead of attaching a document will set you apart.

Related: 7 Things You Should Take Off Your Resume

It helps supplement your paper resume

Even if a potential employer still requires a paper copy of your resume, having an online version allows you to provide additional information that doesn’t necessarily fit on a single piece of paper, Dunn says.

“A digital resume in a creative role is perfect for displaying and sharing your body of work, and if looking for freelance work, employers will always ask to see clips/examples of work,” Dunn says.

A digital resume is the perfect place to put links to published work and projects and go into further detail about your education and experiences—if you’ve ever had trouble with the whole “no more than one page” rule when it comes to creating a resume IRL, an online resume just might become your new BFF!

How do I make a digital resume?

When it comes to actually building your online resume, there’s no need to sweat—it’s a lot less stressful than it sounds! To start, Dunn recommends that you consider purchasing your own domain.

“Purchasing a personal domain name using your name or initials looks professional, and enables you to create a brand that is suited for the world of work,” Dunn says. Not only does having your own website make you look like a total #girlboss, but it can make it easier for employers to find your specific website via Google or other search engines.

Getting your own domain doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours trying to learn advanced coding or web design, either! If you’ve ever created a blog, designing your online resume can be just as easy—templates on websites like Wordpress, Tumblr and Squarespace can keep things simple and user-friendly if you’re not a huge techie.

“I used Tumblr to create my original digital resume, and in many ways, my personal blog showcases my expertise in content creation, photography, social media and public relations,” Dunn says.

As for the actual content in your online resume, include everything you’d include on your paper resume—contact information, experience and any other special skills that make you a standout applicant. When it comes to your online resume, however, feel free to go more in-depth when describing your experience and skills—no one page rule here! Because you can use separate web pages within your blog or website to organize information, an online portfolio allows a lot of information about you and your experience to be less overwhelming to a potential employer. For those in creative industries, an online resume is also a great place to upload or link to a portfolio of your work—that way, when employers ask to see examples of your work, it’s all in one place!

No matter how you go about it, designing an online resume is a great way to go above and beyond when it comes to being a standout applicant for jobs, internships and leadership positions. It may take a little extra effort, but you can be sure potential employers will take notice!

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