Pilot e-resumes

Published: 05-24-2006
E-resumes are the current trend with pilot employers, with more and more companies moving away from paper. Fortunately this benefits pilot applicants.  Your information is now delivered within seconds instead of days, time and expense to print and mail your resume is eliminated, and your information now often sits in an employer-searchable database. 

An employer will receive your e-resume via one of two ways:

  • 1. Email
  • 2. Web form (online application)


Pilot recruiters commonly want your e-resume sent to a company human resources email address. But just how do you send it? Attach it as a
Word (.doc) document, or as plain text (also called ASCII text; textwithout the fancy formatting) within the email message body?

The rule of thumb is that if an employer does not give specificinstructions, attach your Word-formatted resume to your outgoing emailAND embed your plain text resume and cover letter into the email'smessage body. Otherwise, given specific instructions, follow them.

Web form

Once you have a plain text version of your resume, you are able toeasily submit your resume to company online application forms as well. Some airlines will have you cut-and-paste your plain text resumedirectly into one field, while others will have you insert yourinformation into many individual fields (Name, Address, Employer 1,etc). Either way, once you have your original Word-formatted resumein a plain text (.txt) version, it's an easy cut-and-paste procedure.

Converting a Word resume/cover letter into plain text

With a completed resume and cover letter in Word, it's time to makeanother version: a plain text (.txt) version. Here's how:

  1. Open your Word (.doc) resume/cover letter
  2. File > Save As
  3. Change "Save as type" to Plain Text (.txt)
  4. Change the file name to reflect the new file extension (joesmithtextresume.txt, for example)
  5. Click Save
  6. In the next dialog box, check the box "Insert line breaks" and click "OK."
  7. Now open Notepad (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Notepad)
  8. Open the plain text (.txt) document you just saved in Notepad

Your resume has changed from a heavily formatted one to a no-frills one. But it needs some cleaning up now.

Where bullets were once used,now use an asterisk, plus sign, dash, or hyphen (use two in a row ifyou wish). For headlines, use ALL CAPS.

To insert white space betweensections, simply insert an extra return. Make sure the lines arelimited to 60 characters and spaces; otherwise they will wrapprematurely.

Now cut-and-paste your new plain text resume. In Word, onthe top menu select Edit > Select All (or highlight only the text you need if you're using a web form with many input fields). Select Edit >Copy. Now open your email program, click your cursor in the emailmessage field, and then right-click and select Paste.

The sameprocedure is used for web forms, except the last step, where youright-click and paste into the text field instead.

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