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Electronic and Scannable Resumes

"Electronic resumes" refers to resumes that are written and transmitted via electronic medium, not paper. Both electronic and paper resumes are increasingly scanned by companies into databases for storage and retrieval. In today's employment market, resumes have to be developed or modified to meet the new requirements of electronic transmission and scanning of resumes. Here are some pointers to help meet these requirements:

Electronic Resume

  • Content is critical since electronic resumes are "Text Only"
  • Focus on key skills, key qualifications and document results
  • Use ALL CAPS, lower case, capitalization and indents for visual breaks and headings. The formatting codes for bolding, italics and underlining will be "distorted" when converted into a "text format." Employers will then receive a "distorted" resume from you. They do not have the time or resources to "clean up" your resume before sending it on to hiring managers.
  • Be conservative in the number of characters per line (width of resume) when you write your resume. Different electronic readers handle different numbers of characters per line. If your resume is "too wide," it will wrap around and disrupt the layout of your resume.
  • Contact information has to be correct and complete. Your resume can go anywhere in the world via the Internet. Anyone who sees your resume should be able to reach you without any confusion or difficulties.

    Even though a potential employer may receive your resume electronically first, you need to be able to follow-up with an outstanding paper resume upon request.

Scannable Resume

Scanned resumes are retrieved from the database based on key skills or qualifications of a position the company wants to fill. Therefore, a keyword section on your resume can help ensure that your resume is retrieved from the database for further review by hiring managers.

When producing a scannable resume, do not use "dark" resume paper such as blue or gray shades. Information can be incorrectly scanned into a database if there is not sufficient enough contrast between the text and the paper. For best results, use white, off-white or light ecru colored paper.

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