Portland Community College Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Scanned Resume

A few, large employers in the Portland-Metro area are using electronic applicant tracking systems to screen applicants' resumes. Your resume is scanned into a computer database, creating a file that may be used to match qualifications against openings using optical character recognition software. Resumes sent electronically are also processed this way. The computer then sorts resume files from a given set of key words including job titles and duties, education level, equipment and tools, and other jargon specific to the industry. Often, hiring managers access the system directly to screen applicants. Some employers using resume scanning systems are Nike, Intel, AT&T and Tektronix.

Scanned Resume Strategies

  1. Read company job descriptions. These will give you a good idea of the key words used to screen applicants in the system. Whenever possible, use the jargon listed on the job description.
  2. Describe your experience, education, activities, etc. in specific words. Focus on functions and tools.
  3. Use industry language and acronyms.
  4. Include a skills section. This is an easy way to list potential key words.
  5. Contact the employer to confirm their resume requirements. Ask for samples if appropriate.

Scanned Resume Format

  1. Use standard size (8 1/2 x 11) and standard weight (20 lbs) paper.
  2. Print letter quality on white paper. Laser printer originals work best.
  3. Avoid dot matrix printouts, faxes and photocopies.
  4. Choose standard fonts (eg. helvetica, courier) from 10 to 14 point size.
  5. Do not use bold, italics, underlines or fancy fonts.
  6. Do not use graphics, including boxes and lines, and multi-column formats.
  7. Your name and phone number should each be listed on their own line.
  8. Do not fold or staple your resume.
  9. Resumes may be sent electronically directly into the employer's computer system. Check with the employer for this option.
Since the scanned resume may not be attractive to human readers, applicants may wish to submit two versions of their resume, one for the machine and one for the manager.