14 Tips for Writing a Scannable Resume
- Use a clear type face. Preferably, Sans Serif or Times.
- Boldface is accepted by most systems. Unless an employer
specifically tells to not use boldface, you may use it.
- Use a font size of 10 to 14. Anything smaller may not be picked
up by some scanners.
- Avoid using italic text, script, and underlined passages. When
italic and script are together they sometimes touch causing an error
in the scanning process.
- Avoid using graphics and shading. Scanners will be slowed trying
to read a large graphic or table.
- Use few horizontal and vertical lines. Horizontal lines may blur
- Avoid compressing space between lines. Don't try to squeeze
everything onto one page. This will confuse a scanner.
- Never use a nine-pin dot matrix printer. You should use a 24-pin
or even a laser printer. This makes the resumes more professional
- Always send originals. With an original you won't have any
specks or smudges.
- Minimize the use of general abbreviations. Some scanners will
not recognize abbreviations unless they are already programmed in.
- Maximize the use of industry jargon and abbreviations. Industry
terms will be programmed in to help the employer separate the good
from the bad.
- Use a traditional resume structure. Avoid confusing layouts.
- Avoid a four-page resume on a folded 11" X 17" sheet. The
recruiter will have to tear the sheets.
- Use light-colored, standard 8.5" X 11" paper. The more contrast
between ink and paper the better.