Creating a Digital Resume

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Introduction & Objectives


Microsoft Word

Adobe PDF


Link to the School of Information Career Center

Protecting your personal information


Evaluate this tutorial

Text Only/Simple Text Resume on the Web

This is a resume that an employer can physically scan into a resume database to be retrieved later by computer. Scannable resumes contain no extra formatting - no bullets, no italics, no bold, no underlining, no fancy fonts and no tabbed columns. Optical character recognition (OCR) programs have come a long way, but formatting can still increase the possibility of OCR error. Keep in mind that once the search engine has located a resume that meets the keyword requirements, human eyes will read it. Make sure your text-only resume is both computer and people friendly.

Include a Keyword section
Resumes are retrieved from databases using keyword searches, so your scannable resume should contain a keyword section just below your objective. Under the heading of “SKILLS,” put an entire section with nothing but keywords. Keywords include every program you have used, every language you know, and all the job skills you possess. Research the positions you want and compile a list of the words you see repeated in the ads.

Saving Word as text-only:
1. Open your MS Word resume.
2. From the File menu, select "Save As"

a. File name: yourlastname
b. Save as type: Select "Text only"
3. Click "Save"
4 . Add a “skills” or keyword section and format as necessary
5 . Double check your text only resume
a. Copy and Paste your entire document into a test e- mail message - DO NOT SEND AS AN ATTACHMENT
b. Send a copy of this test e-mail message to yourself and to a friend who uses a different e-mail program to check formatting.
6. Upload yourlastname.txt to your public_html folder

Sample Text-only resume - not pretty, but scannable.

Tips for formatting your text-only resume:
1. Always put your email address and the date on your resume.
2. Use 10-14 point common sans serif fonts, such as Helvetica, Verdana or Arial.
3. Do not use bullets, boldfacing, underscoring, tabs or italics.
4. Use asterisks or hyphens, if you wish, but make sure they are separated from any words by a space.
5. Avoid slashes ("design/develop").
6. Use left justification for everything.
7. Use all caps strategically by using them where you would use bold on a traditional resume such as for headings, job titles, etc.
8. Double space your resume for greater readability.
9. Your name should be the first line of your resume.
10. If your scannable resume is longer than one page, put your name at the top of the second page on a separate line.
11. Each line of your address should occupy a separate line.
12. If you are listing two addresses (such as "College Address" and "Permanent Address"), list one below the other, rather than one address on the left and one on the right (text is read by a computer across the page).
13. Category headings ("EDUCATION," "EXPERIENCE," etc.) should occupy their own line.
14. Don't put parentheses around an area code, as some scanners have trouble reading them correctly.
15. Avoid complex layouts, tables or columns.

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