Create a Scannable Version of Your Resume

A scannable resume is a paper resume that is likely to be scanned into an applicant tracking system by an employer. Typically, larger companies scan resumes and, while systems vary, resume formatting needs to be modified to ensure any scanning technology will accurately read your resume.

Keep in mind that your success during the initial selection and ranking will be determined by how effectively keywords are used within your resume; therefore, be sure to begin with a keyword optimized resume.

Follow these steps to create your Scannable Resume:

  1. Remove all graphics; they confuse scanners. This includes art, shading, bullets, and to be safe, horizontal and vertical lines/rules. You can use an asterisk, tilde, or hyphen to replace various symbols.
  2. Be sure your name is on the first line of the resume and no other text is on that line.
  3. Although tabs and centered text may be readable on most systems, it is safest to move all text to the left margin, remove tabs, and use the space bar to indent.
  4. Use common and easily recognizable fonts. Ideally use a sans-serif font (without the little "feet" on characters) such as Arial or Helvetica, or a common serif font such as Times or Times New Roman.
  5. Keep all point sizes between 10 and 14 points.
  6. Use standard line spacing, i.e., avoid compressing lines of text.
  7. Remove bold, italic, script, and underlining. Use all caps sparingly to create visual emphasis.
  8. Keep "To" and "From" dates on one line, and use a single date on college degrees.
  9. Use hyphens (rather than parentheses) around telephone area codes: 303-456-3945.

Once you have prepared a Scannable version of your Keyword Resume, you may submit it by fax or as an e-mail attachment.

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MS Office Monster Careers