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No two-sided resumes

Print in black ink on plain white paper- even a light off-white can reduce scannability.

Format your resume as simply as possible:

Avoid columns

No fancy fonts, small fonts, underlining  (avoid where possible) or italics

Use boldface for headings

Replace bullets with characters like dashes (-), carrots (>) or asterisks (*)

No graphics or symbols

Use a font between 10 and 14 points and don’t crowd the letters

When you mail your resume, do not use staples and do not fold (when possible).  Be sure to send an original rather than a copy.  Scanning equipment often has difficulty with copies (the same goes with faxed versions, so try mailing the original, unless you have the capability of faxing directly from your computer.

When sending your resume as an email, protocol differs by company.  Sometimes hiring managers want the resume in the body of the email, others as an attachment.  Unless instructed otherwise, send your resume as a Word attachment.

Most resumes today are scanned into an electronic database.  Keyword searches are then done by the recruiter, for example, choosing only resumes that contain the word “management”.

If possible, do not fold your resume and cover letter, but rather send it in a stiff 9x12 envelope.  This allows for more complete scanning.  

Be sure to send an original rather than a copy, because scanning equipment often has difficulty with scanned resumes.  

Critique your resume

When you believe your resume is complete, ask yourself the following questions:

Have I selected the most appropriate resume style for my background/career objective?

Have I de-emphasized the interruptions in my career?

Have I highlighted benefits for a potential employer and are my relevant qualifications obvious?

Have I put the most important information near the top and left side of my resume?

Have I stressed accomplishments rather than only job duties?

Have I used natural and understandable language?

Have I left off irrelevant personal information?

Is my resume brief, to the point, and clear?

Have I been consistent in my use of underlining or bold typeface, capitals, spacing and margins?

Is my original copy clean, clear and of good contrast?

Have I chosen high quality bond paper on which to reproduce my resume?

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