Employers can receive resumes traditionally and then scan them for future retrieval. Today many employers retain this information online via their company website. It is doubtful that you will need to create a resume for scanning but just in case you do, be sure to keep these tips in mind.
A scannable resume, like any other resume, is designed to help you get a job. Many companies use this type of resume to search “keywords” and “keyword phrases” when seeking qualified candidates for employment. Although this type of resume is used less by employers seeking interns, large corporations or internship programs may scan resumes to find applicants that possess the experience and skills they are looking for in a candidate.
All resumes should reflect a composite of your accomplishments, education, and previous work and volunteer experiences. When creating a resume that might be scanned, it is essential to use terms and industry acronyms throughout your resume. Brush up on terms used within the industry and make sure you scatter them in your titles, headings, and descriptions.
Including your major, minor, college degree(s), key skills, certifications, work and volunteer experiences, key skills, qualifications, honors, co-curricular activities using “keyword phrases” that can be used as search terms by employers, will help flag your resume for the potential employer. It is best practice when using common abbreviations to write them out as well.
- Formatting for scannable resumes should include no italics, underlining, shading, graphics, parentheses, brackets, tabulations, or other added enhancements. Text should be written in regular font using no bolding or all caps.
- Use a sans serif font, like Arial or Tahoma, since they do not have serifs (small markings on the edge of each letter).
- Use 10, 11, or 12 point font and recognize that all fonts are not equal in size.
- You can use asterisks (*) or hyphens (-) but avoid the use of bullets.
- Left align all text (no centering or tabulations).
- Print resume using a laser printer and use only one side of the page. When sending a 2 page resume, be sure your name is at the top of both pages.
- Do not fold or staple resume. Send resume to employer using large envelope and paper clip pages together. You may choose to protect your documents by surrounding with light cardboard inside the envelope.