On-line Job Search Guide
Tips for Readable Resumes
- Give priority to your skills on your resume. Employers want to know what you can do, not just where you have been. This is why scannable resume systems are set up to read skills. Place the important skills at the beginning of the resume where employers can see them first. Also, scannable database systems store a fixed number of skills so that those that come later may not be included in the database. Insure that your skills and occupation-specific keywords match your objective.
- Place your name, address, and phone number with area code in a block format below the top margin. This key information helps interested employers reach you and is the preferred format for scannable systems. Put your name on each page.
- Use generous margins and plenty of white space. One-inch margins enhance the readability of your resume. Balance the body of the resume so that the content is not compressed. For multiple pages, insure that information is balanced over the pages. The final resume should be a high-contrast image - dark ink on white or light colored paper.
- Use vertical and horizontal lines sparingly and include a quarter inch of space around them. (Scanning systems can confuse lines and characters.)
- Avoid graphics and shading. Shading reduces the contrast making text hard to read. Graphics may catch the human eye but do not make sense to scanning systems.
- Use a font size between 10 and 14 points. Don't use script, italic or underlining. Highlight information using bold or CAPITAL letters.
- Stapling or folding diminishes the visual appearance of the resume and affects scannability. Avoid fasteners and consider sending your resume flat in a large white envelope.
- Be sure your resume is high quality and professional. Laser print your final copy. Remember, this is your advertisement to employers.
- Choose a typeface (font) that is easily readable rather than decorative: Times New Roman, Univers, Arial, Courier New, Century Schoolbook.
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This page was last updated on April 17, 1997
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