The purpose of an electronic resume is to enable you to broaden your horizons as far as job-hunting goes by enabling you to apply for jobs online. There are three popular and main methods for applying for jobs on-line: via e-mail, via e-forms and via the World Wide Web as a Web page.
In order to be able to submit your resume via e-mail or post it directly to a resume database via an e-form, you should use the ASCII plain text format. The most popular ASCII file format used to transfer resumes via the Internet is plain text (.txt file.) These resumes can be created using a text editor such as Microsoft Notepad or Macintosh SimpleText. Although plain text resumes are becoming more common, the disadvantage of using this format is that the text cannot be formatted within the resume.
If you want to create your resume in a word processor and send it as an e-mail attachment, an ASCII rich text format should be used (.rtf file.) This format is very popular as it is compatible across word processors and it allows for some fancy formatting. The downside of using the rich text format is that if you are sending the file as an e-mail attachment, the recipients e-mail system may not support this format and may result in unreadable text or text including coded data which makes for an unsightly resume.
To publish and promote your resume on the World Wide Web, you need to create a hypertext version of your resume. Hypertext is also an ASCII file format and is identified by its .htm or .html file extension. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) allows for added flexibility in resume formatting as well as provides the means for publishing your resume on the World Wide Web. A disadvantage of using the hypertext resume is that you have to have a Web browser, Internet access and an HTML converter in order to post the resume. Another reason creating a hypertext resume is disadvantageous is because by posting your resume on a website, you are forcing (and hoping) employers will find you on their own as opposed to enabling them to find you more easily by posting in a resume database.