Online Resume Presentation

Is the online presentation of your resume preventing you from getting jobs?
If you found a potential vacancy online it is almost certain your job application and / or resume will be submitted electronically. We have been writing resumes for more than 14 years. During this time there has been a significant shift in the way that job applications are presented and prepared. Your resume presentation needs to reflect the fact that submissions are now electronic and resumes are reviewed on computers. It is rare for resumes or job applications to be printed in hard copy.

Resume preparation for online submission requires attention to detail and a basic understanding of how your resume will be reviewed. A common mistake is to assume resumes appear the same online as when printed.

There are a number of steps you can take to ensure your resume is easy to read and presentable online.

MSWord and other Formats

It is your responsibility as the job applicant to submit your application and ensure your resume presentation is in a format that can be opened and read by the organisation. The majority of formats for resumes are PDF and MSWord. If you use an obscure or unusual word processing platform ensure your material can be opened in a Microsoft program. Even if you have an ethical objection to Microsoft the fact is that the majority of businesses or organisations use this program. A simple way to check the name of the document. Documents should end in .doc or .docx to be compatible.


If you are in any doubt on the suitability of your program or concerned the format of your resume may change when opened convert your document to PDF. This is a simple process of selecting file, save as followed by file type. Using this format ensures your presentation is locked and information cannot be changed. This will prevent any issues with incompatible word processing programs that may adjust formatting or resume presentation when opened.


Review your resume presentation before submitting. Large amounts of white space will confuse or detract from the overall resume presentation and professionalism. Alternatively cramming information into your resume presentation to save pages will also make it difficult for the reader to understand. Find a balance for your resume presentation that allows information to be read without distracting the reader.


A critical factor to your resume presentation is the selection of an appropriate and professional font. This font should be easy to read, clear and commonly found in the majority of documents such as Arial or Calibri. Ensure the font is not too large or small and consistent in terms of size and type. Failing to pay attention to font in this situation will detract from the professionalism of your resume presentation.

Structure and Colour

The purpose of your resume presentation is to put forward your information to an employer that will secure a position. The use of excessive colour or structure in your resume will detract from your information and not help in securing a role. This can be a critical factor to how your resume is viewed or perceived. Alternatively if you are applying for management level positions it is expected that your resume presentation is professional and has a structure that reflects that level.

Your current resume presentation and structure online could be hurting your job application. Review your resume or job application from the perspective of the reader. Control and manage the structure and presentation to ensure your content is easily read, understood and stands out.

Need more information on your resume structure? Review our recent post here that provides a clear, easy to understand presentation. We can also help with resume templates, full resume preparation and Government applications.