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Give priority to the skills on your resume. (Employers want to know what you can do, not just where you've been.) This is why scannable resume systems are set up to read skills. Place the important skills at the beginning of the resume where employers can see them first. Also, scannable database systems store a fixed number of skills so that those that come later may not be included in the database. Insure that your skills and occupation-specific keywords match your objective.
Place your name, address and phone number with area code in a block format below the top margin. This key information helps interested employers reach you and is the preferred format for scannable systems. Put your name on each page.
Use generous margins and plenty of white space. One-inch margins enhance the readability of your resume. Balance the body of the resume so the content isn't compressed. For multiple pages, make sure information is balanced on the pages. The final resume should be a high-contrast image-- dark ink on white or light-colored paper.
Use vertical and horizontal lines sparingly and include a quarter-inch of space around them. (Scanning systems can confuse lines and characters.)
Avoid graphics and shading. Shading reduces the contrast, making text hard to read. Graphics may catch the human eye but don't make sense to scanning systems.
Use a font size between 10 and 14 points. Don't use script, italic or underlining. Highlight information using bold or CAPITAL letters.
Avoid stapling or folding which diminishes the visual appearance of the resume and affects scannability. Avoid fasteners and consider sending your resume flat in a large white envelope.
Be sure your resume is high quality and professional. Laser print your final copy. Remember, this is your advertisement to employers.
Choose a typeface (font) that's easily readable rather than decorative. Times, AGaramond, Optima, Caslon Book or Slimbach are readable.
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