The computer reader - The electronic or computer-optimized resume is designed, first and foremost, to be readable by the computer. There are several types of electronic resumes, but the common element of all is the ability to be searched by keyword. Of course, once your resume has been tagged as matching a keyword search, it will be reviewed by a human. So compelling, easy-to-read content is just as important in the electronic resume as in the traditional resume.
Over the past decade, the most common resume-related questions asked by job hunters have progressively shifted. While still of major importance, the majority of queries are no longer about functional versus chronological resume styles, whether to keep or remove experience from twenty-five years ago, or whether to include dates of education. With the advent and subsequent explosive increase in the use of the Internet during the job search, questions have turned overwhelmingly to issues of electronic resume creation and transmission.
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).
This technology presents some risks for you as a potential job candidate, so you must understand how they work. Many of these so-called applicant tracking systems do not recognize items in table format, text boxes, or other graphical elements. They are very text based. Therefore, you should avoid embedding anything important into graphical elements such as text boxes or tables to make sure they are not missed by these applicant tracking systems.
Write the Experience Summary section of your job resume for each specific position you are seeking. You must state a convincing case as to why you are the perfect candidate. For example, if you were applying for a computer programming job, you should focus your Experience Summary on your computer programming skills and experience and establish yourself as qualified right away. It may be nice that you were in a community play or a scout leader, but it is not relevant and wont get you the job. This ultimate purpose of this section is to quickly make you stand out from other applicants. When drafting your Experience Summary, keep asking yourself if someone else would be able to make the same statements in their own resume. If so, you need to go back and re-work it again. You need to establish your value to the employer and clearly tell them, "Here is what I can do for you." Investing your time on this one step will bring huge rewards for you.
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