Using the Web for Work: Crafting Your Resume for Resume Scanning Software

Using the Web for Work
By Kristen Jacoway
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a job seeker learn about the latest and greatest tools to help you succeed.

Crafting Your Resume for Resume Scanning Software

As important as it is to format your resume to an eye-catching look, it is increasingly important to make sure that it can pass through companies’ resume scanning software. Many companies employ the use of such software because it helps them weed through candidates efficiently and quickly. You may have all of the qualifications and experience required for the position, but if your resume has some of the common mistakes people make or is missing crucial elements, then a human may never see your resume.

Here are 3 recommendations to help you craft your resume for today’s job search:

  1. Use a Standard Heading: Your First Name, Your Last Name, Address, Phone Number and Email address. Why? Most resume scanning software programs are designed to capture the information in fields in this order. I had a client that had listed her address and contact information on the first 2 lines and then had her name on the 3rd line in a large font. However, the database would generally capture this information as first name, “1234” and last name “Covington” instead of her real name.
  2. Only Add the BEST Contact Phone Number: Many applicant-tracking programs will parse one phone number. I’ve seen numerous times where a candidate lists 2-3 phone numbers. You want to make sure you list the best way to reach you (i.e. your cell). Do NOT list your work number, though, for obvious reasons.
  3. Spell Out and Use Abbreviations for All Degrees, Certifications, Professional Memberships, and More: For example, I have an M.S. degree in Vocational Counseling. On my resume, I say, “Master of Science (M.S. degree) in Vocational Counseling, Auburn University. Why is this important? You do not know how someone might set up his or her search parameters in tracking software. They may search for the abbreviation, “PMP” but if you only have “Project Management Professional” listed on your resume, your resume may be missed. recently did an eye-tracking study on how recruiters viewed resumes. They found that recruiters spend a whopping 6 SECONDS reviewing an individual resume. To obtain a copy of this report and the key elements at which recruiters look, go to here to download this free report.

Kristen Jacoway is the principal of Career Design Coach and authored the book, “I’m in a Job Search-Now What???


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