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Scannable Resumes

Many companies electronically scan resumes to enter them into databases, so you may need a special version of your resume that lends itself to this process. Here are some tips to make your resume a scanner-friendly one: 

  • Use a font size of 10 to 14 points.
  • Eliminate bullets and use dashes (-) or astericks (*) instead.
  • Use a popular, non-decorative typeface such as Helvetica, Times New Roman, or Palatino.
  • Avoid italics, underlined text, graphics, and shading. Capitalized words and boldface are okay.
  • Use horizontal and vertical lines sparingly; they confuse the computer.
  • Avoid staples and folds. If you must fold your resume, do not fold on a line of text.
  • Always send originals since copies are often forwarded for review.
  • Maximize the use of industry-specific terminology and abbreviations. Recruiters will instruct the search-engine dictionary to search for “buzz” words.
  • Use a traditional resume format; avoid complex layouts such as double columns.
  • Use light-colored paper printed on one side.
  • Your name should, of course, be the first text on a resume.