Scannable Rules


Leading businesses, organizations and executive search and placement firms use electronic resume tracking technology to “scan” or “read” and upload resumes to database depository. Your resume is scanned for key words, phrases, experience, education and skills.

The nature of the automated (resume) systems is saving time while enhancing the quality and evenhandedness of the recruiting process, thus reducing factors such as age, gender and race.

The following are tips and information that will assist you in the journey through electronic resume tracking systems and will increase your opportunities for matching requirements.

  1. Always use Word format. Avoid .pdf and .rtf formats that may become difficult for the scanner to read key words.
  2. Avoid using graphics and shading, italics and lines or underlining. These may not scan.
  3. Stick to sans serif fonts or popular, easy to read serif fonts. This includes Times, Times New Roman, Ariel, Helvetica, Futura.
  4. Use a font size of 11 or 14 points. 12 font is easiest to read. Anything smaller than 10 may not scan.
  5. Boldface is accepted by most systems.
  6. Do not use hollow points. The computer sees these as little “o” s.
  7. Maximize the use of industry jargon. Well-known short forms such as used for states and degrees are acceptable.
  8. Use an accomplishment-oriented resume structure with outcomes.
  9. Remember to quantify not just qualify your accomplishments. Numbers talk!
  10. One to two pages are no longer the suggested length. The more keyboard marketing points you present the more likely you are to be plucked from an electronic resume database.  Try to keep to no more than three pages, however, four pages for exceptional experience may be necessary.


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The Hutton Group, Inc.
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