Due to the large volume of job applicants, Human Resources departments must keep resumes, cover letters and portfolios organized. Many mid- to large-sized companies use systems that allow applicants to upload their resume information directly to a database. From there, the company can easily search the database and determine which applicants are qualified. As a job seeker, you want to make sure that your resume is easily readable by these online systems so that it will stand out in searches. The best way to do this is to create a scannable resume.
Open your current resume in a Microsoft Word document.
Remove any formatting that you've added to your resume. Formatting includes indentations, bullet points, lines, shading and any other special characters. The best way to remove all formatting is to select "clear formatting" under the "edit" menu. You can also manually remove formatting by using the delete key.
Create a keyword section directly underneath your contact information. Label the section as Keywords and list position-specific skills you have that pertain to the job. Companies will search through their applicant database systems using keywords, so including these on your resume increase your chances of getting noticed. For example, if you're applying for a retail management position, appropriate keywords you'd want to include are "leadership skills," "teamwork," "customer service," among others. If you're not sure what to use, check the job advertisement and identify the desired qualifications--this will give you an idea what sort of skills the company is looking for in an applicant.
Change your section headings to simple terms. For example, your education section should simply read as "education", while your work history should be listed as "work experience" and so on. As with the keyword section, make sure your education and work experience sections contain key phrases that the company might search for.
Click "Save As under the file menu. At the bottom of the window, select the drop-down menu and choose the 'Text File txt" option. This saves your document as a text file.
Open your resume as a text file using a program like Notepad or Wordpad and check for any formatting problems. Make sure your text is left-side aligned. Correct any issues and save your file again. You are now ready to print or upload your scannable resume.
Always print your scannable resume on white letter-sized paper and use a high quality printer.
Put your name on the top of each resume page (if sending more than one page.)
Avoid folding your resume if mailing or hand-delivering. Put it in a flat envelope.
If you include more than one phone number, place them on separate lines.