Rhea Carney. Resume. September 10th , 2017.
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).
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.
If you are interested in developing your career, regardless of the type of industry you are presently in or the job you hold now, you need a resume that represents you in the best possible manner. Once you submit a resume you do not get a second chance to resubmit it and what the potential employer views determines their initial impression of you, your career, and your background. Whether you fill out an online form and upload a resume, or send a resume direct, it must connect you to the potential job by demonstrating you have acquired the necessary skills, training, education, or other similar qualifications. Your resume can either help your prospect of being considered, or cause you to be disqualified. That is the power a resume holds for you and your career.
Include Irrelevant Info (AKA 'Fluff') - If it's not important, don't add it to your resume. If you were a cook 10 years ago but now you're looking for a job in retail management, don't clutter up your resume with irrelevancy. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager and ask yourself what they would see as important. How does your background correspond with their needs as an employer? Anything else is fluff. Don't add your hobbies to your resume. Don't add your references (if they want them, they'll ask at the appropriate time). And don't include your high school education either. Finally, don't be redundant and repeat yourself throughout the context of your resume. It's OK to reinforce themes, but don't push it. If your title has been Branch Manager at each of your past three companies, find a way to differentiate each of these positions and highlight your most notable accomplishments. Don't just copy and paste the line 'Managed a team of branch employees' three times. That will get you nowhere.
Choose the Right Format - One thing you need to remember is that there is not one universal formatting methodology because, in truth, there is no cookie-cutter way of writing a resume. What works best for one person may not be best for another. Some people will benefit from a Chronological resume whereas that format may be detrimental to someone who has jumped around a lot in their career. The only thing I can suggest is that you do your homework. Know the different types of resumes (Chronological, Functional, Targeted, and Combination) and know the distinct merits of each. Then make an informed decision as to which style is best for you. If you are surfing the web and looking for a good resume sample or template to use as a guideline for your own resume, make sure the sample you settle on is appropriate considering your background, the industry you're in, and your career intentions.
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