How to Attach a Resume to an Online Job Application

Your résumé could be the difference between being hired or passed over.

When applying for jobs online, you will often find that the employer asks you to do one of two things. It either gives you the option of uploading your full résumé to their website or it will leave a blank area on the application for you to copy and paste your résumé. Because many jobs require you to copy and paste your résumé in order to attach it to your application, you will need to create what is known as a digital résumé, basically a plain text version of your résumé.

Step 1

Select all of the text on your résumé and change it all to the same size. Switch any bold text to all caps instead. For example, change your bold "Objectives" to "OBJECTIVES." Remove all bold and underlining from the résumé.

Step 2

Select any bullet lists in your résumé and click the bullet tool on your word processing software to return the list to normal text. In place of the bullet points, use asterisks. This simplifies the text, because bullets will not copy and paste into an online form and will create spacing issues that will make your résumé appear sloppy.

Step 3

Fix the spacing on your résumé. Remove any tabs or indentations so all of the text is left-justified. Make everything either single or double-spaced. This is up to your preference, but make it consistent over the entire résumé.

Step 4

Proof your résumé. At this point, all text should be the same size and aligned to the left side of the page, evenly spaced with no underlined text, no bold text and no bullet lists. Fix anything that you missed.

Step 5

Save your résumé as a copy. Change the name by adding words such as "plain text" or "digital copy" to the file name. Now you have two versions of your résumé available at a moment's notice -- the nice looking, printable version and the plain text version.

Step 6

Copy the text of your plain text résumé and paste it into the résumé box on your online application. Scroll to the bottom of the résumé after pasting it to make sure it was not cut off at the end. If it cut off, it may be too long for the box. In this case, cut out any information that repeats from the main body of the online application. Submit your résumé.


The digital résumé is also useful for scanning, faxing and sending as an in-text email.

If your online application allows you to browse your computer files and upload your nicer looking, printable résumé, use that option instead of the digital copy.


Save your résumé with a professional sounding file name, such as your first and last name, "John Smith Résumé". Do the same with your digital copy, naming it something like, "John Smith Digital Résumé." If you upload your résumé to send with an online application, the prospective employer can see your file name and you do not want to appear unprofessional.