When you apply for a job at a larger firm, there’s a high chance that your resume will be scanned by a filtering software for words related to certain job vacancies.
This kind of automation process will also reject your resume if it doesn’t “meet traditional, business-dictated document formatting,” writes Rick Gillis in his book “Job!: Learn How to Find Your Next Job In 1 Day.“
Here are some formatting rules that Gillis says job seekers should follow to create a filtering software-friendly resume:
- Do not place your contact information in the header of your resume, because filtering softwares can be set to ignore headers and footers so there is a risk this information will be deleted.
- Choose a conservative font such as Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, or Calibri. Gillis says that serif fonts, such as Times Roman or Cambria may be rejected by screening software.
- Do not use any script fonts.
- The smallest font size to use for the body of your resume should be 11 point. “Any smaller and you’re probably asking for trouble.”
- No graphics or logos.
- Do not format using tables.
- No borders.
- A one-inch margin top and bottom is best.
- Do not use any lines that cross the entire page from margin to margin, because “some filters have been created that will reject a document for nothing more than having a single line run continuously across the page,” he writes.