Why do we need them?

  1. Most Fortune 1000 firms, recruiters, and most firms that receive over 100 resumes per week routinely scan resumes into databases using OCR (optical character recognition software). If your resume does not scan, it will not be read. When faxing or mailing your resume, you may need to use a scannable and/or ASCII version in tandem with your presentation version.
  2. Many employers use scanning technology to scan print resumes into a database from which they can be retrieved later.
  3. if you will be sending your resume to large organizations, or even medium-sized organizations that tend to receive a high volume of resumes, it's a good idea to create a purely scannable resume.


What is a scannable resume?

Resumes designed for scanning must be compatible with the "computer eye."


Dos for Scannable Resumes:


Some keyword examples are:


Scannable resume formatting:


a)       To create a resume that appeals to the human eye, but which avoids some of the formatting elements that could be misread by scanners, do the following:


No italics, no underlining, no shading, or other unusual enhancements.

You may use bold or ALL CAPITAL letters, but make sure the individual letters do not touch each other.


Use a sans serif font, like Arial or Tahoma.

On font size, use 10, 11, or 12. Be aware that font sizes are not created equal. A 10-point Arial is not the same as a 10-point Century Gothic

  • No vertical or horizontal lines, graphics, or boxes.


Avoid two-column format or resumes that look like newspapers or newsletters

Print your resume with a laser printer

Avoid paper with heavy texture that could interfere with the clarity of the print


b)       To create a resume which is strictly for scanning, and not for the human eye, take these additional steps:



No bold or ALL CAPS.


One font style and size throughout the document.


No bullets. You may use asterisks (*) or hyphens (-)


No parentheses or brackets.



Even spacing throughout the document. No tabs


Don't condense spacing between letters.


Left justification only. No centering or right margin justification.



Going beyond one page is acceptable. Place your name on each page


If including two phone numbers, list each on a separate line


Use white paper only. No texture or watermark on the paper


Don't print on two sides of one page.


  • Don't staple pages together. Don't fold pages.



  Resume Examples