Format Your Resume So It Gets Past Applicant Screening Software

Before your resume gets in the hands of someone who can actually hire you, it may well pass through screening software designed to weed out the “good” resumes from the “bad”. Besides carefully crafting your resume to get past those screeners, you may also need to format your resume so it doesn’t trip up the software.

Citing a book written by job search expert Rick Gillis, Business Insider notes a handful of formatting guidelines. Some of these are common sense, such as keeping your resume free of graphics or logos, but other recommendations are more unusual, including:

  • Avoid placing your contact information in the header of the resume, because filtering software could ignore headers and footers and actually delete that info
  • Choose a sans-serif font such as Verdana or Tahoma rather than a serif one like Times New Roman (screening software might actually reject resumes with serif fonts!)
  • And avoid having any lines go the whole width of the page from margin to margin.

These seem like arbitrary reasons to reject a resume, but you can’t reason with software, so better safe than sorry.

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