Preparing an ideal résumé for scanning

Preparing a scannable résumé is easy. Like the traditional résumé, your focus should be on format and content.

State Farm uses a résumé database tool. Using document imaging technology, your résumé is scanned into the computer as an image. OCR (optical character recognition) software looks at the image to distinguish every letter and number and then creates a text file. Your résumé is then "read" by the computer, which extracts important information about you such as your name, address, phone number, work history, years of experience, education and skills.

The computer can search for just about anything in your résumé. Our system reviews candidate résumés to match their skills with the job requirements of open positions. You could be qualified and considered for jobs you never thought -- jobs like claims, human resources, marketing, and agency.

Why is it important for you to know how to create a scannable résumé?
Because we use our system to help match the skills you list on your résumé with our available career opportunities, it's important for you to have a "scannable" résumé. A scannable résumé is clean so the scanner can get a clear image. It also has standard fonts and crisp type so the OCR software can recognize every letter.

Format of your résumé
To maximize the computer's ability to read your résumé, provide a clean original on plain paper and use a standard style.

The most difficult résumé for the computer to read is one of poor quality, that has unusual formats such as a newsletter layout, adjusted spacing, small font size, unusual fonts, graphics or lines, script typestyles, type that is too light, paper that is too dark, marbled paper, or heavy paper.

Maximizing the quality of your résumé

  • Use white 8 1/2 x 11 paper, with black ink, printed on only one side.
  • Text can continue on the next page for a maximum of two pages.
  • Use a font size of 12 to 14 points.
  • Use standard typefaces such as Arial, Courier New, Helvetica, Futura, Optima, Univers, Times, Palatino, and New Century Schoolbook.
  • Do not condense spacing between letters.
  • Provide a laser printer original or a typewritten original. Do not send copies or dot matrix printouts.
  • Do not fold, staple, or paperclip your résumé.
  • Avoid fancy treatments such as italics, underlining, shadows, and reverse images (white letters on black background).
  • Do not use text boxes when submitting an electronic résumé.
  • Don't use pictures, graphics, boxes, vertical lines, or borders.
  • Avoid two-column format or résumés that look like newspapers or newsletters.
  • Place your name at the top of each page.
  • Include your e-mail address.
  • Use standard address format below your name.
  • Your name can be up to 28 points in size.
  • Date ranges should be on the same line.
  • Do not submit handwritten documents (letters or cover letters).

Content of your résumé
Our recruiters may access the résumé database to search for your résumé specifically, or for applicants with specific experience. When searching for specific experience, they'll search for key words such as claims, typing, computer skills, customer service or city/state. For this reason, it's important for you to use words that describe all the skills you possess. For example, if your past job experience includes working as a server in a restaurant, you may want to include "customer service" as a skill on your résumé.

Enhancing your résumé

  • Describe your experience with concrete words rather than vague descriptions. For example, use "managed a team of software engineers" rather than "responsible for managing, training . . ."
  • Be concise and truthful.
  • Use two pages if necessary. The computer uses all of the information it extracts from your résumé to determine if your skills match available positions.
  • Use jargon and acronyms specific to your industry (You may wish to have a second résumé for human readers, where you would spell out the acronyms).
  • Increase your list of key words by including specifics. For example, list the names of software you use such as Microsoft Word or Excel.
  • Use common headings such as: Objective, Experience, Employment, Work History, Positions Held, Appointments, Skills, Summary of Qualifications, Accomplishments, Strengths, Education, Affiliations, Publications, Papers, Licenses, Certifications, Examinations, Honors, Personal, Additional, Miscellaneous and References.
  • Use complete school names, degrees and dates.
  • Use complete job information and dates.
  • If you have extra space, describe your interpersonal traits and attitudes. Key words could include skills in time management, dependability, high energy, leadership, sense of responsibility or good memory.
Submitting Your résumé
Thanks for taking the time to learn about scannable résumés. Once you've prepared your ideal scannable résumé, submit it to State Farm for employment opportunities. You may mail your unfolded résumé to your local recruiter, or submit it on-line at®.

Comments (2)

Said this on 1-2-2008 At 09:56 pm
Said this on 3-11-2008 At 01:59 pm
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