What is a Plain Text Resume?
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What is a Plain Text Resume?

A plain text cover letter and resume are used to respond to a job posting that asks you to apply online or email your application.

A plain text resume or cover letter is very simple and contains no bullets, bold, italics or lines.  The content focuses less on the look of the document and more on the skills and abilities of the person applying for the job. 

You should always use a plain text resume and cover letter format when applying to a job online.  You can also use plain text when e-mailing your application when you don’t know what computer programs the employer uses.

Plain Text Format

  • Line up all text to the left-hand margin.
  • Replace bullets with symbols such as asterisks **, dashes – or plus signs ++.
  • Use equal signs == to separate sections or place at least two lines of space between sections.
  • Use CAPITAL letters for resume headings and job titles.
  • Remove your name, contact information and page numbers from the second page.  Once your cover letter and resume is copied into an online form, it will become one long page.

Email Plain Text

  • Use the position title and job number for the email subject line. E.g. Administrative Assistant   (Job #1234)
  • Copy and paste your plain text cover letter into the body of the email.
  • Put a line of dashes below the cover letter and before your resume.
  • Copy and paste your resume below the line of dashes.
  • If requested, you can also attach your cover letter and resume to the email in a specified file format. 

Applying Online

  • Copy and paste your plain text cover letter into the text box.
  • Put a line of dashes below the cover letter and before your resume.
  • Copy and paste your resume below the line of dashes.