Scannable CV Preparation
Preparing scannable documents such as resume, CV or cover letter is easy. You can use your current CV. However, once you understand what the employers search 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 CV database in many ways, searching for your CV specifically or searching for applicants with specific experience. When searching for specific experience, they will search for keywords 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 than vague descriptions. The computer system will extract the keywords from your sentences.
The most difficult CV 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, the 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 the standard address format below your name.
- In addition to your e-mail address, including 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 typefaces 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.
- Avoid fancy treatments such as bullet points, tables, tabs and hard returns.
- Italics, underline, especially if combined, shading, outline and reverses (white letters on a 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 format or CVs 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.
- Use boldface and/or ALL CAPITAL LETTERS for emphasis and section headings as long as the letters do not touch each other.
- Replace bullets with asterisks (*).
- Use plus signs (+) at the beginning of lines or paragraphs.
- Use dashes (-) instead of horizontal lines.
Check the spelling and grammar of your scannable CVs. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and usage errors in English or other language or if you need help in organizing your scannable CVs send them to a professional for assistance.
Most recruiters expect to receive a cover letter together with your CV. So, prepare a cover letter convincing the reader why you are the best candidate for the interview using cover letter writing tips.
In recent years it becomes 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 a current CV. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the CV you send along. If you do not have an account, create one and include your social media link(s) on your CV.
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. The online CV should not include sensitive information as it could show a lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.
Other Scannable CV Info
Good luck with your scannable CV!