Are Plain Text Resumes Still Necessary?

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My clients sometimes ask if it is any longer necessary to have a text, ASCII, or “e-resume” version, considering the continued advancements in Internet and computer technology.

While the sites to which we submit resumes sport fancy input forms, the underlying technology has as a rule remained unchanged when it comes to submitting information via those forms. In other words, if you were to copy and paste your nicely formatted Word resume into the form, it is highly unlikely that your format would be reasonably preserved, and characters such as bullets, graphics, and other special characters would not be converted correctly. Without embedding a very complex application into the blank or box, anything put into it will automatically be simplified to plain text.

So my answer for now is: Yes, you still need a text version of your executive resume for use when you visit executive job boards and recruiting firm sites.