The best written letters are worthless if no one sees them!
Scannable Documents Preparation
Preparing scannable documents such as a resume, CV or cover letter is easy. You can use your current resume and include the resume writing tips. However, once you understand what the computer searches for, you may decide to add a few keywords to increase your opportunities for matching job requirements or getting hits.
Recruiters and managers access the resume database in many ways, searching for your resume specifically or searching for applicants with specific experience. When searching for specific experience, they will search for key words or phrases, usually nouns such as engineer, BA, marketing, Society of ..., Spanish (language fluency), Los Angeles, etc.
So, make sure you describe your experience with concrete words rather then vague descriptions. The computer system will extract the key words from your sentences.
The most difficult resume for the computer to read is a poor quality copy that has an unusual format such as a newsletter layout, adjusted spacing, large font sizes, graphics, lines, type that is too light or paper that is too dark.
- Place your name at the top of the page on its own line. Your name should also be the first text on pages two and others.
- Use standard address format below your name.
- In addition to your e-mail address, include your regular phone number (and fax number, which you should try to arrange to have)
- List each phone number on its own line.
- Left justify the entire document.
- Use black standard typeface such as Serif, SansSerif, Aria, Helvetica, Futura, Optima, Universe, Times, Palatino, New Century, Verdana, Geneva or Courier.
- Use a font size of 10 to 14 points. The best size would be 12 points because a human can easily read it too.
- Use boldface and/or ALL CAPITAL LETTERS for emphasis and section headings as long as the letters do not touch each other.
- For a resume/CV in a Plain Text format for emailing as a plain text or for submission on web sites:
- Replace bullets with asterisks (*).
- Use plus signs (+) at the beginning of lines or paragraphs.
- Use dashes (-) instead of horizontal lines.
- Avoid fancy treatments such as bullet points, tables, tabs and hard returns.
- Italics, underline, especially if combined, shading, outline and reverses (white letters on black background) cause problems for the scanner.
- Avoid fonts where characters touch.
- Avoid vertical and horizontal lines. When used, leave at least a quarter of an inch of space around the line.
- Avoid two-column formats that look like newspapers or newsletters.
- Do not use images or graphics and boxes.
- Do not condense or expand the spacing between letters.
- Do not double space within sections.
Check the spelling and grammar of your scannable documents. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and English or other language usage errors or if you need help in organizing your document, CV or resume send it to a professional for assistance.
Remember that your document, letter or CV/resume must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have a difficulty with your CV writing or resume writing instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use CV samples, CV templates, resume samples and resume templates or:
- "fill in the blanks" resume writing software.
Most recruiters expect to receive a cover letter together with your resume or CV.
So, prepare a cover letter convincing the reader why you are the best candidate for the interview.
If you have a difficulty with your cover letter writing use one of these:
In recent years it become increasingly popular to join the LinkedIn or Facebook social networking websites for professionals, where you may search for jobs and have your keyword-optimized, rich content profile with current CV or resume. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the CV/resume you send along. If you do not have an account, create one and include your social media link(s) on your CV/resume.
However, you should manage your online presence. Eliminate any photos and statements that could reflect poorly on you. From an employer’s point of view, someone who emphasizes partying on a social networking site is not focused on jobs and those who post complaints about work or colleagues are less desirable candidates. Online CV/resume should not include sensitive information as they could show lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.
Other Scannable Documents Info
Good luck with your scannable documents!