ASCII text resume - If you conduct any portion of your job search on the Internet, ASCII-formatted resumes are critically important tools. Always have an up-to-date ASCII text version of your resume on your computer. This is the fastest way to contact potential employers and to apply for jobs advertised online. You must also have a text version of your resume if you wish to post in online resume databanks.
As previously noted, employers rarely request scannable resumes anymore. If they utilize an applicant tracking system, they will likely request that your resume be e-mailed, either as ASCII text or as an attachment. E-mail allows the recipient to enter your resume directly into the database, eliminating the extra steps of scanning and OCR.
The phrase "keyword resume," as it was first used, referred most often to either a scannable or text resume that incorporated a focus on nouns and phrases that employers were likely to use when searching for an applicant. Sometimes the keyword resume had a section at the beginning or end that listed the keywords separated by commas or periods. Today, there is no need to maintain both a keyword and a non-keyword resume. Keywords have become such an essential element in resumes that you should ensure that every version of your resume, whether meant for the human or the computer reader, incorporates the keywords most important in your field or industry.
Fix My Resume, Lets set this straight now--there is no simple fix. The screening process counts on the fact that so many resumes dont make the mark. Writing a resume is tough. Thats all there is to it. Most people do not like to write. Most people do not like sales. A resume is both - it is a written sales pitch. Ouch! Double whammy.
Scannable resumes -- also a printed, hardcopy format -- are designed primarily for accurate scanning into a computer. Captured as an image, scannable resumes are fed through OCR (optical character recognition) software that reads and extracts the text. The extracted text is databased for storage and later recalled by keyword from an applicant tracking system. Scannable resumes are very rarely requested any more. If you are asked for a scannable resume, the most efficient option is to email the requestor your plain ASCII text resume (described next).
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