- The Net's Premier Resume Writing and Editing Service
What happens when you create a beautiful paper résumé
and mail or fax it to a company that scans résumés
into a computerized database instead of forwarding it to a
hiring manager for review? It ends up in cyberspace instead
of on someone's desk. This automated process requires some
special design considerations in order to make your résumé
scanner friendly, which is what this section addresses.
According to U.S. News & World Report, more than 1,000
unsolicited résumés arrive every week at most
Fortune 500 companies, and before the days of applicant tracking
systems and résumé scanning, 80 percent were
thrown out after a quick review. It was simply impossible
to keep track of that much paper. As companies downsize and
human resource departments become smaller, it is even more
important to manage the job application and screening processes
in an efficient manner.
Today, nearly half of all mid-sized companies and almost
all large companies are scanning résumés and
using computerized applicant tracking systems (still just
30 percent of all job openings, though). Some smaller companies
turn to service bureaus to manage their scanning or to recruiters
who scan résumés because of the volume of résumés
they receive every day. If you are sending your résumé
to one of these companies and your paper résumé
is not formatted in such a way that a scanner can read it,
the words won't be spelled right. And, if the words aren't
spelled right, a keyword search will never turn up your résumé.
This section is devoted to helping you avoid the pitfalls
that commonly cause a résumé to scan poorly.
This includes choosing the right fonts, laying out the text
of your résumé in such a way that it is scanner
friendly, selecting the right paper color, etc. With these
guidelines, your résumé will be ready for a
hiring manager's computerized keyword search.
If you would rather not worry about whether your résumé
is scannable, then simply send your formatted résumé
(styled any way you like) along with an unformatted (ASCII
text) résumé. Your recipient will then have
a choice whether to scan the "ugly" one or to send
the formatted one to the hiring manager for review. You can
never go wrong when you send both styles.