Is your resume responsive?

You spend hours working on your resume, and hit “send” to submit it to a hiring manager.

On your end, everything looks great, and you’re happy with the work you’ve done to represent your skills.  The hiring manager, happy to get your inquiry, opens up your email on his/her smartphone and looks at your resume.

But what if the hiring manager opens up a jumbled mess of a resume – and what you THOUGHT you sent isn’t what he/she received?

Marketing managers have been hard at work for a few years making sure that websites are “responsive” – that is, the website enlarges and reduces well across  platforms and looks great no matter what device someone’s using.

A client and I just had this issue:  the resume she thought she sent was not the resume I got, and vice versa.  She’s on a Mac at home, and I’m on a PC.  When we sent it back and forth, it would look fine on our own screens, but the other person would see odd formatting and spacing.  I opened it on my iPhone, and I could see what she meant.  We changed the font we were using (we went to Arial which translates well even if it’s boring) and went line by line to fix the formatting so that it looks the same on all platforms: Mac, PC, tablet and smartphone.  Now her resume’s ready for viewing in whatever environment the recipient uses.

So put it on your to-do list:  Check and double-check that the your resume’s responsive.  If you have an iPhone, get a friend who has an Android phone and send your resume over for a spot check.  Check it on someone’s tablet, and find a way to view it on whatever platforms you’re not currently using.   If you can, save it as a PDF so if you’re emailing it everyone sees the same thing.  And if you’re uploading it to an applicant tracking system, make sure it’s text-based formatting so your bells and whistles don’t turn your resume into a mess.

These days, so many people use their mobile devices for work that your resume needs to work across whatever platform they’re using.

Hopefully we don’t have to worry about formatting resumes for the Apple Watch any time soon.