A GREAT . . . RÉSUMÉ
Key Words and Scannable Formats
Many employers SCAN resumes -- to save time in the initial review process.
Large employers that receive high volumes of resumes, and high tech companies,
are the most likely to scan. The human resources department of these companies
will often provide you with instructions on how to format your resume so it can
be accurately scanned -- i.e. left justified, do not use underline or italics, do not
fold or staple your resume.
Your resume is first “reviewed” by a software program (OCR) that has been
instructed to search for specific “key words” that describe the skills, experience,
education, etc. that the employer is looking for. For your resume make it through
this initial “review,” you need to be sure you have adequately described your skills,
experience and accomplishments using these KEY WORDS.
FORMAT is also important. When the scanning software does not understand the
format, it may misread the information or move pieces of information to the bottom
of the page. This can be very confusing for the person trying to read the scanned
version of your resume. Also, certain type styles such as underline and italics,
and graphics, cannot be “read” by or are misread by scanners.
APPLYING ONLINE: These days you will likely be applying on line – sending your
resume to the employer in electronic format. The best choice in this case is to save
your resume in PDF format and send them that. PDF absolutely preserves the
formatting – what you send is what they get. However, they may ask for your
resume in Word or a generic text format – you need to send your resume in the
format they specify. If you are asked to cut and paste your resume into their
online application, be sure to go in and “clean up” the format – to make it easy
to read and understand.
OVERALL FORMAT / APEARANCE: You want a professional appearance and
format that will make it easy for the reader to find the information they are
looking for. Use logical, descriptive section headings; carefully and
consistently place and highlight dates, job titles and company names.
· Use at least 10 pt fonts.
· Printing on a quality bond paper will enhance the overall appearance.
· Do not fold or staple – mail in a large (9 x 12) envelope.
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