Electronic Resume: eResume
Advances in scanning and image technology have started a revolution
in the collection, storage and management of resumes. Through this
technology, many businesses and organizations have begun using
scanners to screen their job applicants.
Now, not only should you have a presentable version of your resume
for interviewers, but also a data attractive version for the
computer. In other words, you will need to develop two versions of
your resume - a visually attractive resume and a scannable resume.
At one time it was acceptable to send multiple copies to an
employer, each showing your talents for a different position. With
today's advanced technologies and computer database systems,
submitting multiple resumes may only succeed in flagging you as "high
risk" or "unfocused".
How it works
Resumes are received by the employer and are scanned into a
computer. The computer "reads" each resume, looking for keywords, and
files the resume in its system. When a job opening needs to be
filled, the employer tells the computer what keywords to look for, the
computer finds all of the resumes that match those keywords, and the
resumes are ranked by number of matched keywords.
When writing a scannable resume, many of the rules for a
traditional resume apply. The secret of a successful scannable resume
is the use of the keywords that employers are searching for. This is
not an easy task as many keywords vary from employer to employer.
A scannable resume will resemble a non-scannable resume with a few
- Keyword/summary section
This should be a short, strong opening paragraph. Indicate your key
experiences and your strongest skills.
List your name, address, telephone, fax number, and email address on
separate lines, any formatting may confuse the computer.
Indicate what your specific goals are and what position you're
looking to fill.
- Education, experience, activities/interests, accomplishments,
Like a traditional, written resume, these sections should include
past work experience, education, volunteer positions, internships,
What you include in your resume is how the computer will file your
information. Where traditional resumes use action verbs to interest
the reader, scannable resumes uses nouns to attract attention.
Employers will search for words such as job titles, familiar acronyms,
company names, organizations, degrees, etc. What the employer will
search for is unknown, you can only make reasonable assumptions about
what a specific employer will seek.
It is even more critical now that you research the company and
position you are applying for. If you know the requirements of the
job, you can be sure to include the keywords on your resume.
Keyword samples by occupation
Computer Aided Testing
TV Creative development
Samples of frequently requested interpersonal traits:
|ability to delegate
ability to implement
ability to plan
ability to train
willing to travel
Less is more! The best scannable resumes are simple, unadorned,
uncluttered and unpretentious.
- Simple structured format
- Single space text
- Double space between main headings
- Use a plain font like Courier or Palatino
- Use a laser printer
- White paper, 8½" x 11"
- Headlines are 12 point bold face and the rest is in 10 point
Tips of the Trade
- Use future dates when listing education, if applicable, omitting
the word "expected"
- Avoid bullets, boxes, lines, italics, boldface, and underline
- Avoid ambiguous phrases and vague word choice (example:
"responsible for project organization" becomes "organized series of
projects for marketing new line of software")
- Avoid using a passive voice (example: "experience with
blueprints" becomes "drafted construction blueprints")
- Use specific names of tools, instruments, software you have used
such as Excel, FileMaker Pro, WordPerfect for Windows
- Maximize industry terminology and jargon, but only if widely
- State quantitative terms and measurable results (example:
"managed 14 commercial brokers")
- Always send originals
An Exception to the Rule
One page is no longer the rule of resume length for scannable
resumes. If you have the background and experience, the more keyword
points you present about yourself, the more likely you are to be
matched to a position by the computer.