- The Net's Premier Resume Writing and Editing Service
When your paper résumé is received by a human
resource department that uses a computerized applicant tracking
system, your résumé must first be transferred
from paper into binary information that a computer can read
before it can be stored in the résumé database.
This is accomplished with a scanner that is connected to a
computer running a special kind of software that can examine
the dots of ink on your printed page and determine by their
shapes which letters they represent. This is called optical
character recognition, or OCR for short.
This software matches patterns with sets of characters stored
in its memory, which is one of the reasons why it is important
to choose a type style (or font) for your résumé
that conforms to normal letter shapes. If you use a highly
decorative type style, the OCR software will have difficulty
making matches and will misinterpret letters. This means your
words won't be spelled correctly, which of course means that
a keyword search for the word bookkeeping will never turn
up your résumé if the OCR thought you typed
For now, let's assume that you have designed a résumé
that the scanner can read. First, depending on the company's
procedures, your résumé will be received directly
by the recruiter assigned to fill a certain position (if the
job was advertised) or by the human resource department in
general (if you have sent your résumé unsolicited).
When the recruiter has finished reviewing your information,
your résumé is added to the stacks of résumés
to be processed by the computer that day. A clerk will then
put your résumé into the automatic feeder bin
of a flatbed scanner, separating your résumé
from the one above and below it with a blank piece of paper.
Within seconds, the scanner has passed its light over your
pieces of paper and the software interprets the black dots
of ink as letters of the alphabet. The computer then begins
extracting information to fill in its electronic form, which
will become part of your résumé in cyberspace.