By using the latest in document imaging technology, your resume can be scanned into a computer system and kept “active” for years. The computer can search for just about anything in your resume. You could be qualified and considered for jobs you never thought of. The computer can make it easier for you to be considered for more jobs, and it keeps your one resume on file so it is quicker to update your information.
First your resume is scanned into the computer as an image. Then OCR (optical character recognition) software looks at the image to distinguish every letter and number (character) and creates a text file (ASCII). Then artificial intelligence “reads” the text and extracts important information about you such as: your name, address, phone number, work history, years of experience, education, and skills.
In order to maximize the computer’s ability to read your resume, provide the cleanest original and use a standard style résumé.
The computer can extract skills from many styles of resumes, such as: chronological, achievement, functional, and combinations.
The most difficult resume for the computer to read is a poor quality copy that has an unusual format such as a newsletter layout, adjusted spacing, large font sizes, graphics or lines, type that is too light, or paper that is too dark.
Tips For Maximizing Scannability
- Use white or light-colored 8.5 x 11 paper, printed on one side only
- Provide a laser-printed original if possible. A typewritten original or a high quality photocopy is okay. Avoid dot matrix printout and low-quality copies.
- Do not fold or staple
- Use standard typefaces such as: Helvetica, Future, Optima, Universe, Times, Palatino, New Century Schoolbook, and Courier.
- Use a font size of 10-14 points. (Avoid Times 10 point)
- Do not condense spacing between letters.
- Use boldface and/or all capital letters for section headings as long as the letters do not touch each other.
- Avoid vertical and horizontal lines, graphics, and boxes.
- Avoid two-column format or resumes that look like newspapers or newsletters
- Place your name at the top of the page on its own line. You can also place it on subsequent pages
- Use standard address format below your name.
- List each phone number on its own line.
Tips for Maximizing Hits
- Use enough key words to define your skills, experience, education, professional affiliations, etc.
- Describe your experience with concrete words rather than vague descriptions. For example, it is better to use “Managed a team of software engineers” rather than “responsible for managing, training.”
- Be concise and truthful.
- Use more than one page if necessary. The computer can easily handle multiple-page résumés, and it uses all of the information it extracts from your resume to determine if your skills match available positions. It allows you to provide more information than you would for a human reader.
- Use jargon and acronyms specific to your industry (spell out acronyms for human readers).
- Increase your list of key words by including specifics, for example, list the names of software you use such as Microsoft Word and Lotus 1-2-3.
- Use common headings such as: Summary of Qualifications, Employment, Work History, Positions Held, Appointments, Skills, Summary, Accomplishments, Strengths, Education, Affiliations, Professional Affiliations, Publications, Papers, Licenses, Certifications, Examinations, Honors, Personal, Additional, Miscellaneous, References, etc.
- If you have extra space, describe your interpersonal traits and attitude. Key words could include: skill in time management, dependable, high energy, leadership, and responsible.