Scannable Resumes:
Tips and Techniques

In today's world of electronic wizardry, scannable resumes are becoming used increasingly. Many employers are scanning resumes and entering them into a database for further review. In some cases, the resumes are searched for certain keywords to ascertain whether or not a person should be considered for possible employment.

To ensure you have a scannable resume, pay close attention to the following tips and techniques. Your next job may depend upon the knowledge you gain from reading this article.


Scannable Resumes: Tips and Techniques

scannable resumes, resumes that can be scanned

  • To maximize the computer's ability to read your resume, submit the cleanest possible original and use a standard resume format
  • Use standard, easy-to-read fonts - Arial, Times New Roman or Helvetica
  • The font should be between 10-14 points
  • Left justify text and do not use bullets or lines
  • Save your resume in a rich text file (RTF) format
  • Omit borders, graphics and unusual text formatting (underlining, bolding, italics)
  • Spell out words instead of using symbols (#, @, %, and such)
  • Use keywords and/or buzzwords associated with the position you are seeking as it will increase the likelihood of an employer matching your resume with the requirements of the position
  • Spell check the document before sending it to anyone
  • Always preface your resume with a cover letter

Scannable resumes include the same information as a traditional paper resume. The formatting is simply different since all word processors do not handle certain aspects of writing (such as symbols and lines) the same way.

In general, a resume that can be scanned has the same major headings as a traditional resume. These include: a header that includes your name, address, and phone number; job objective; work experience; education, honors, activities and any certifications or publications.

The format that is most likely to find favor with employers is the Chronological Resume Format. It is the easiest to read and an applicant's qualifications are straightforward and quick to ascertain.

Be sure to determine an employer's specific needs with regard to the specific style or format for submitting your resume, though. Some companies define the guidelines on their websites for sending in resumes. With something like this, doing your research can really pay off.

Enhancing scannable resumes is even better when you follow this link to Resume Do's and Don'ts

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