A scannable, or text resume, is formatted differently compared to other resume styles. As the name suggests, text resumes are formatted to facilitate scanning the document into a company's human resources database. There are several key requirements outlined in the steps below that will ensure your resume is scannable.
1) Open your saved resume in any standard word processing software (Microsoft Word, for example). If you have not written a standard copy of your resume, or want to write an original copy as a text file, begin at Step 4.
2) Select "Save As" option from Windows drop-down menu in upper left-hand corner.
3) When the option box opens, activate the pull-down menu labeled, "Save as type," and select .txt or text file. This will save your resume as a text file on your hard drive. Take note of the location you are saving the file to for easy retrieval.
4) Open a standard text editor (Word pad or Notepad, for example), select the "Open" option from the "File" drop-down menu (or the "New" option if you are creating a new resume) located in the upper left corner of the screen.
5) Create a list of keywords to include in your scannable resume. Since the document will be electronically stored, it is a safe bet that at some point search software will be used to identify and select resumes from a database. If your resume contains key terms that relate to the position, company or industry you hope to work in, you stand a better chance of having your resume selected from the hundreds of other candidates who may be vying for the same position.
A good source for these key terms is the job posting or position description. You might also find good keyword options if the corporate website for the company you are applying to lists profiles of employees who currently perform the position you are applying for. Once you have created your list, work these terms into the body and career objective sections of your resume in a way that makes sense and supports your effort to profile your skills and qualifications.
6) Review your resume to ensure there are no formatting errors and that your resume looks like you want it to; if not, make any necessary changes. Ensure there are no italics, bold lettering, dashes or inserted lines in your text resume. Your text resume should be in 12-point font using a standard font (Times New Roman or Arial, for example). Save the final version of your text resume file to your hard drive. Now you can print out, fax or email a scannable copy of your resume.