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UMM Home > Career Services > Job Application Tools > Resumé Tips

Resumé Tips

  • Put your name at the top of the resume.
  • DO NOT put your name and address all on one line.
  • Do not use decorative fonts. Avoid italic, script, and underline text, as they sometimes touch, and the computer may not recognize the characters.
  • Put the most important data first on your resume. ResSearch will use the first 80 skills.
  • Boldface is acceptable. However, use sparingly; possibly just for headings. CAPITAL LETTERS can add emphasis also.
  • Identify your skills by using nouns. Use industry jargon. Example: CAD (Computer Assisted Design). Maximize use of keywords and buzzwords.
  • Avoid graphics and shading. The scanning equipment is set to read text, not graphics.
  • Prepare your resume on a computer or typewriter using light colored (preferably white) standard sized paper, using black ink.
  • Omit parentheses or brackets around telephone area codes. Use horizontal and vertical lines sparingly.
  • If you do use lines, put at least a quarter-inch of white space around them. Computers try to read lines, but may blur the lines into characters.
  • Use plenty of white space. Computers like white space. The computer uses it to recognize that one topic has ended and another has begun.
  • Record your degrees and/or certifications with year of graduation and completed education.
  • If your work history is lengthy, use only the last five jobs or the last ten years of work experience. Include professional memberships, they are important and may enhance your resume.
  • Do not use staples or fold your resume. Pages may stick together even after the staple has been pulled and creases may lead to inaccurate scanning.
  • Be sure to provide 1" margins (top, bottom, left, right) for optimal scanning. The sharper the image, the easier it is for a scanner to read and the less chance for misinterpretation or error.
  • Use a font size of 10 to 14 points. Some examples of excellent scannable fonts to use include: Times, Arial, & Courier.
  • Always proofread your resume for visual quality, content and typographical errors.
  • Always send an original to ResSearch.
Avoid the following (or your resume may get sent back to you):
  • Handwritten resumes or resumes with handwritten notes or corrections.
  • Resumes containing personal information such as date of birth, number of children, marital status, or physical characteristics.
  • Reverse print (white letters on dark background).
  • Book format (paper size of 11 x 14).

Questions? Many Minnesota Job Service offices offer "Creative Job Search" workshops which include instruction on writing scannable resumes. If you have questions regarding resume preparation that are not answered above, or need more information about other Job Service features, see your office for more details.