Applying online with a scannable resume

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With the emergence of new technical means of obtaining resumes over the past few years, it is important for job seekers to create a scannable resume. Unlike traditional resume formats, the scannable resume is a must to keep for applying for jobs via online tracking systems. Most job seekers usually copy and paste a resume online, but you will notice the format is a disaster. By creating a scannable resume, you will have a resume that looks good and will get you noticed by resume tracking software.

Here are some things to keep in mind when creating a scannable resume:

  • Avoid italics, underlining, shading, or other fancy font styles.
  • Avoid bold or ALL CAPS. Most scanning software does not differentiate between this and other font styles.
  • Maintain a simple font style and size throughout the document. Use Arial or Tahoma font style.
  • Font size: use 10, 11, or 12.
  • Avoid fancy lines, graphics, or boxes.
  • Avoid bullets. Instead, use asterisks or hyphens.
  • Avoid all brackets.
  • Left justify only. Avoid centering or right margin justification.
  • Place your name on each page on bottom left corner
  • Make sure you place your address below your name on the first page.
  • When including phone numbers for cell and home, list each on a separate line.

How to convert your standard resume to a scannable online resume:

  • Open your classic standard resume in MS Word
  • Select the “Save As” option in the “File” menu on top left of menu.
  • After you open the “Save As” menu, there is a drop down menu on the bottom of the window that opened where you can select the file type for what you want to save. Select the “Text File txt” option and save your file as a text file. The text resume has now been created.

Remember, after saving, you want to open this text file to make sure that it still looks legible since text resumes removes all the formatting and fancy characters.

You can open the text version of your resume with any standard text editor like Wordpad or Notepad.

You now have two versions of your resume and ready to start your job search. If you can, I also recommend sending the classic version via email, fax or in-person.

Information provided by HR Difference.

Our HR team specializes in providing small and medium sized companies with cost-efficient and customized human resources consulting solutions and learning management systems to meet your need and budget. We also provide custom resume writing and telephone job interview coaching for job seekers.

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