Career and Leadership Development

Scannable Resumes

- Electronic scanning systems search for "key words" that match key words on your resume to key words needed to succeed in the job. Typically, those interviewed will be those that have the most matches. Make sure to target your resume to the job description and use words the employer uses in the job announcement.

Scannable Resume Facts and Tips from A-Z:

  • Always send an original
  • Bold face and/or capital letters for section headings
  • Condensing space hinders scanning
  • Do not fold or staple
  • Each phone number on its own line
  • Fancy treatments like italics should be avoided
  • Graphics should not be used
  • Horizontal lines should never be used
  • Increase your list of key words by including specifics
  • Jargon & acronyms that are specific to your field
  • Keep date ranges on one line
  • Large font sizes should always be avoided
  • Miscellaneous items such as activities & honors should be listed
  • Newspaper/newsletter format should be avoided
  • Objectives (career) are important to emphasize
  • Place your name at the top of the page at the end of one line
  • Qualifications should always be emphasized
  • References should be listed at the end of your resume
  • Submit a current resume if it has been over 1 year and you are still interested in employment with that employer
  • Typefaces such as Times, Arial, and Courier are appropriate
  • Use font size 10-14 point
  • Vertical lines should never be used
  • White/light colored paper is the best choice. Print on one side only
  • Xeroxed printouts/low quality copies should never be used
  • Year is the length of time your resume will remain active in some systems
  • Zenith is the highest point that a person can reach. Step one to reaching zenith in a career begins with a good resume

With permission of The Career Center, Colorado State University