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Converting your MS WORD Résumé

Into Text Only/Plain Text Format

Please note that these instructions assume that your Step 3:
résumé is in MS Word for Windows. If your résumé is Delete any references to “page two,” “Continued,” or
in another word processing application or on a different your name or head on page 2.
computer platform like Macintosh or Windows Vista, you You are making your résumé appear as one continuous
may need to consult your word processing manual for electronic document.
specific instructions.
Step 4:
Step 1: Remove MS Word formatting.
Save Your Résumé as a Text Only document. Because MS Word formatting is not universal, convert
A Text Only (called Plain Text in Windows XP) document your résumé into “keyboard” formatting by removing all
works best for an electronic résumé because you can bold, italics, underlines, bullets, and tabs, and only use
adjust the margins and formatting to suit the database or formatting you find on your keyboard.
email system in which you are working. To convert your
MS Word résumé to Text Only/Plain Text: Step 5:
Use all CAPS for words that need special emphasis.
For the best overall effect, use all caps sparingly,
1. Open the MS Word document that contains your
highlighting only what you really want to have stand out.
Step 6:
2. Click File in your tool bar and select Save As.
Replace each bullet point with a standard keyboard
3. Type in a new name for this document in File Name, Suggested replacements are:
such as “ResTextOnly.” Dashes (-)
Plus signs (+)
4. Under this is the Save As Type pull-down menu. From Single or Double Asterisks (*) (**)
this list, select “Text Only” (*.txt). If you’re on a Windows
XP computer, select “Plain Text” from the pull-down Use the Space Bar, not the Tab Key, to place a single
menu. space immediately after each symbol (and before the
words). Allow the lines to wrap naturally at the end of a
5. Click Save to perform the conversion. line. Don’t put a forced return (don’t push the Return or
Enter key) if it’s not the end of the statement and don’t
6. Close the document but stay in MS Word. indent the second line of a statement with the Space Bar.

7. Reopen the document you just closed by going to Step 7:

File in the tool bar, click Open, select the file named Use straight quotes in place of curly quotes.
“ResTextOnly.txt,” and click Open. Warning: If you To do this, select the text that includes the quotes you
exit MS Word and then open the résumé document by want to change. Click Format in your tool bar and select
clicking on its icon in the directory, it will be opened in AutoFormat. Click the Options button, and make sure
Notepad -- not what you want if you intend to use this Replace Straight Quotes With Smart Quotes is not
version to prepare an emailable résumé. selected under both the AutoFormat and AutoFormat As
You Type tabs. Then click OK to exit the AutoFormat box,
and your curly quotes will be changed to straight quotes.
After converting your résumé to Text Only, what appears
in your document window is your résumé stripped of any
Step 8:
fancy formatting. You are now ready to make a few final
Rearrange text if necessary.
adjustments before posting it online: Do a line-by-line review of your document to make sure
there are no odd-looking line wraps, extra spaces, or
Step 2: words scrunched together in the body, making adjustments
Check keywords. accordingly. This may require inserting commas between
Make sure you have all the keywords that define your job items that were once in columns and are now in paragraph
qualifications. format because tabs and tables disappeared when the
document was converted to Text Only.
Emailing Your Plain Text Résumé
Now that you have the Plain Text Résumé for Posting, it Email Step 2:
takes just a few more steps to create a perfect Plain Text Save as Text Only with Line Breaks.
Résumé for Emailing. Again, if you take the time to do To save changes you made in Step 1, you must convert
this now, you will save yourself a lot of time later. your Text Only document one more time by doing the
Email Step 1:
Limit line lengths. • With your Text Only résumé document open, click File in
Because each email software has its own length of lines, your tool bar and select Save As.
your message may not look as good when it is read by a • Type in a new name for this document in File Name, such
potential employer. To avoid this problem, limit each line to as “ResTextBreak.”
no more than 65 characters, including spaces. To do this: • Directly under this is the Save As Type pull-down
menu. From this list, select “Text Only with Line Breaks
Open MS Word, click Open, select the file named (*.txt).” Click Save to perform the conversion. If you’re
“ResTextOnly.txt,” and click Open. Warning: If you a Windows XP user, save your document as Plain Text.
open the résumé document by clicking on its icon in the When the File Conversion window appears on your
directory, it will be opened in Notepad -- not what you want screen, click “Insert line breaks” under Options; then click
right now. OK.
• Now close the document and exit MS Word.
1. Select the entire document and change the font to • Reopen the résumé document (ResTextBreak.txt) by
Courier, 12 pt. clicking on its icon in the directory. That will open it as a
2. Go to Format in your toolbar; select Page Setup Notepad document.
(Windows XP users will find Page Setup under File in
their toolbars); set the left margin at 1 inch and your Email Step 3:
right margin at 1.75 inch. (Yahoo! email users set your Copy the entire text in your ResTextBreak.txt
right margin at 2.5.) document that you’ve opened in Notepad, and paste it
3. Select the entire document and change the font to in the body of the email message.
Times, Arial, or some other standard font you like. Before sending your résumé to an employer, run a test by
sending it to yourself and to a friend to see how it looks
With the font, size of font, and side margins set, each line after going through the Internet. (It’s even better if your
of your document will be no more than 65 characters and friend uses a different email program than you do , such as
spaces. Don’t worry about whether you want the employer Outlook or Gmail.) This will help you identify any additional
to see your résumé in Courier font - his or her e-mail formatting problems you need to correct before you start
software will convert it to the font set on his or her system. sending it out to possible employers.

! Would you like to improve your Résumé?

Attend our Résumé Basics or Résumé Critique workshops
offered at any of our American Job Center - Eastern Region locations.

Do you need to learn/refresh your Computer Skills?

Check out the Computer Basics workshop offered at all of our Centers.

Do you need an email address?

Do you have an email address, but don’t use it?
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Want to enhance your computer skills and/or

expand your job search network?
Check out the Introduction to Microsoft Word workshop and the
Professional Networking Online workshop offered at all of our Centers.