Resumes formatted for electronic submission provide an excellent opportunity to maximize your exposure. Generally speaking, electronic resumes (e-resumes) fall into one of three categories: ASCII (plain text), social media (online), and scannable.
An ASCII resume is an unformatted, keyword-rich document that is designed to be copied and pasted into the body of an e-mail or entered directly into an online form.
Social media or online resumes may include HTML and social media resumes, which are key components of your personal brand. They are designed for posting as part of a personal Website / online portfolio or uploading to a social networking site. Social media resumes are most effective when a special section of relevant keywords are included since these help the profile stand out in online searches.
Scannable resumes are submitted in paper form and are designed to be scanned into an automated applicant tracking system (resume database), thus changing them into electronic form. Since some mid- and large-sized companies continue to use scanning technology, it is safest to modify your resume to a scannable format when applying to these types of organizations.
An employer, based upon the requirements of an opening, will determine which keywords best identify the skills needed to identify a viable candidate. Search engines and data tracking software recognize keywords and phrases differently and may utilize various criteria — including the number, density, and type of keywords — in order to determine the ranking. Resumes that rank the highest will be selected and read by a human reviewer.
Keep in mind that regardless of how you submit your resume, and whether it will first receive a computer screen or be selected by a human reviewer, it is important that your resume be rich in keywords and phrases based upon your industry and career objectives.
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