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Scannable Resume Design

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Scannable Resume Fonts

Simply put, font means character style and size. Because scanning equipment differs from company to company, it's best to be conservative when choosing a font for your scannable resume.

Avoid all fancy "designer" fonts that are difficult even for the human eye to read. If anything, the OCR software will have even more difficulty, which might lead to mistakes such as misspelled keywords.

If the software can't correctly interpret the keywords in your scannable resume, then it won't show up in an employer's search for same.

It's best to stick with a classic, simple font such as Arial or Times New Roman. Other good choices include Garamond, Bookman, Courier New, Century Schoolbook or Verdana.

Avoid using Italics in your scannable resume. The scanning software might have difficulty reading it, because the slant reduces the white space between characters. Bold print is acceptable for headings and when used conservatively elsewhere.

Never type your scannable resume in all UPPERCASE CHARACTERS (or any other employment-related correspondence for that matter). It's unprofessional. But it's acceptable to type your scannable-resume headings in all uppercase characters, using an appropriate font.

It's okay to use one font for the body text of your scannable resume, while using another for your name and section headings. But, again, be conservative.

Scannable Resume Font Size

Avoid making the OCR software work extra hard to read all the characters in your scannable resume, as this too may lead to misspelled keywords. It's best to use a font size between 9 and 12 points (pt), depending upon the font.

For example, as shown here in bold print, characters in Arial font appear a little larger than those in Times New Roman font of the same point size.* So, if you choose Times New Roman over Arial for your scannable resume, then you might also slightly increase the font size.

A font size of 10 pt works well for Arial in a scannable resume, while 11 or 12 pt works well for Times New Roman. Either is pleasing to the human eye too.

Creating your section headings in a slightly larger font size than the body text, helps to better make them stand out to the human eye. They will typically scan well too. The same goes for your name at the top of all pages in your scannable resume.

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* If you can't see the difference in font style and size, then your computer likely doesn't have one or the other font installed or your Web browser is set to override fonts specified by Web pages.

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