Transforming your resume to a text-only document
By Teena Rose, Professional Executive Resume Writer
Chances are, if you've submitted your resume to a recruiter or a job bank, you've been asked to convert it to ASCII format. ASCII (pronounced "as-kee") is short for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. In short, the document is converted to simple text so it can be read by "electronic eyes."
PURPOSE FOR THE CONVERSION...
With today's technology, recruiters, job banks, and a rising number of employers make use of a resume scanning system to input, track, and eventually search incoming resumes. To read text accurately, a scanning system requires the pica and font to be clear and legible. Recommended fonts include Courier 10 Pitch, Courier New, and Monaco because they don't utilize long tails, slant, or dramatize the size of each letter.
GOING FROM BEAUTIFUL TO BLAND...
Converting a resume to ASCII format is a simple process, if you know what you're doing. Steps to making your resume ASCII friendly:
STEP 1: Highlight the entire document and change the font to one mentioned above, along with a 10-12-font size
STEP 2: Remove hard returns, bold features, and tabs
STEP 3: Replace bullets with asterisks or dashes
STEP 4: Capitalize headers, name, and any other items that require distinction from the remainder of text
STEP 5: Change margins: Left 1" Right 2.5"; this allows for systems accepting only 60-70 characters per line; save file with a .txt extension
You'll know when you've achieved ASCII status - the resume will be plain and generic in appearance. This version should be used when requested only and not submitted in place of a Word version.
Teena Rose is a certified resume writer, interview professional, and a credentialed career master. Select resumes have been published and featured within print publications and are being used to set industry standards. Mrs. Rose assists job seekers regardless of industry and magnitude of experience - even those with career blemishes.