This normal on job applications?

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Gibson486

Lifer
Aug 9, 2000
18,378
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So...I spent a good amount time on this cover letter on a job that I really want.

Instead uploading a cover letter, you have to type it in. So, I take my cover letter, convert it to text, then format it in the text box they give.

What sucks is that there is no preview....so I say, OK, how it is in the text box is how it will show up. Wrong :(. They let you review the application after you sent it. The cover letter has no formatting. It just one giant paragraph now. This normal...does it actually have formatting on their end?
 

dpodblood

Diamond Member
May 20, 2010
4,020
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I've never encountered that before, but I'd think the contents of your cover letter is more important than the formatting.
 

Saint Nick

Lifer
Jan 21, 2005
17,722
6
81
It probably won't have formatting on their end. But, I've been in the same situation (having to paste a resume/CV) and it looked like a huge mess. Must not have been a big deal because I got the job!
 

xanis

Lifer
Sep 11, 2005
17,571
8
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A lot of online application systems are pretty terrible. I would *think* that the best format for resumes and cover letters would be PDF, but apparently no one knows what it is. Most of the time I'm asked to create plain text, Word Document, and even HTML (yes, WTF?) versions of my stuff. I have a couple of templates now for each occasion, but when I didn't I'd make them up on the spot and they'd usually look like ass.
 

Jaepheth

Platinum Member
Apr 29, 2006
2,572
25
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I ran into similar situations before. It sucks, but there's not much you can do if there's no 'edit'.

I eventually made plain text versions of generic cover letters and resumes to use as templates.
 

CalvinHobbes

Diamond Member
Feb 27, 2004
3,524
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The ones I really hate (and don't fill out) are the ones that ask you to upload resume, CV and then on the next page you have to type all that information in.

I've actually had a few place who after they've reviewed my resume, done a phone interview and had me come in, require that I fill out an employment application that has all the info on my resume.
 

BeauJangles

Lifer
Aug 26, 2001
13,941
1
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It's probably just going to get dumped into a database and then mined for keywords. If you're match, someone will read it. The good news is that everyone's cover letter is going to look equally as terrible.
 

Saint Nick

Lifer
Jan 21, 2005
17,722
6
81
cover letters are the biggest waste of time for job applications.
Pretty much. Let's throw together as many buzz words as possible, and butter the employers up.

"I am a detail-oriented PHP programmer with experience in the SDLC as well as Agile..."

Bleh. Instead, tell me what you've done and what you're proud of, and how did it help the company? How will that help us?
 

ShawnD1

Lifer
May 24, 2003
15,987
2
81
I've never encountered that before, but I'd think the contents of your cover letter is more important than the formatting.
Wait. You mean the OP thought people actually read his resume? LOLOLOLOLOL


Most job interviews, the person doing the interview has no idea who I am or what my deal is. It always seems like this is the very first time they have ever seen my resume. That's because it probably is the first time they have seen my resume. Up until then it was just a computer looking for keywords then extracting phone numbers from the ones with the most keywords synergy team building cooperation graduate honors college university council scholarship
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
62,875
11,275
136
I've applied for a few jobs online that required you to cut & paste both resume and cover letter...no attachments.

I guess they're afraid of picking up virus/spyware/malware, etc.

While I suppose I don't blame them for being cautious, the lack of formatting would make reading those resumes/cover letters pretty dreary...after all, why read a good story that's been fubar'd by shitty formatting?

(referring to the huge amount of "story-telling" that goes on in resumes and cover letters)
 

ShawnD1

Lifer
May 24, 2003
15,987
2
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While I suppose I don't blame them for being cautious, the lack of formatting would make reading those resumes/cover letters pretty dreary...after all, why read a good story that's been fubar'd by shitty formatting?

(referring to the huge amount of "story-telling" that goes on in resumes and cover letters)

In high school we were shown how to write a resume in .txt format. That includes things like how to space it out and make it look presentable. White space is often ignored so line breaks need something like a period to show up properly.
.
They also explained what NOT do put in your .txt resume. Do not put * because it's a wildcard character. If their software sucks, it will shit the bed when it tries reading your resume. Also avoid using semicolons because those are special characters as well ;end of script
Also avoid using slashes because those too can confuse things //comment here
 

DougK62

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2001
8,035
6
81
This is very common. Stripping any hidden codes and delivering just plain text is better for their data mining software to work with.
 
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