Increasing number of companies are resorting to recruit these days by asking candidates to either apply online through their own or some other career web site, or submitting the resumes through e-mail.
While sending resume through e-mail, the conventional resume format doesn't work and most of the times end up as an unopened file only.
While sending a resume through e-mail, the candidates have a propensity to send the resume as an attachment, which puts the recruiters in a difficult situation, as lots of resumes just fail to open due to different formats, different word processing applications, or due to virus problems, and so lots of recruiters just shy away from downloading any attachment to their PCs. So many recruiters have started asking candidates to send their resume in ASCII Text format only.
Click on following sections to understand about ASCII resume and learn key points related to them so that you can improve upon your chance of success.
* ASCII Resume
* Scannable Resumes & Using Keywords
* Tips for a Better e-Resume
E-Resume: ASCII text
ASCII is an acronym, which stands for "American Standard Code for Information Interchange," and is used to describe files that are stored in clear text format. In ASCII text, there is no formatting within the document and the text is not platform or application specific. So features like bold fonts, italics, etc., cannot be used. ASCII allows employers to read resumes without worrying about the MS Word format and virus problems.
How Does ASCII Work?
In technical terms, ASCII is a coding scheme, which assigns numeric values to letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and certain other characters. By standardizing the values used for these characters, ASCII enables computers and computer programs to exchange information regardless of platform. There are 128 standard ASCII codes, each of which can be represented by a 7 digit binary number: 0000000 through 1111111. As ASCII is the worldwide standard for these code numbers, the standard ASCII character set is universal among microcomputer hardware and software.
Writing resume in ASCII?
To create an ASCII resume, use Notepad for writing resume or write resume by using available word-processing application on computer, and then save it as a text-only document or as Rich Text Format (*.rtf). This can be done by using "save" or "save as," command.
The ASCII text resume will not recognize special formatting commands specific to word-processing programs. Therefore, following mistakes should be watched:
1. Alignment - In ASCII, everything is by default left justified, so to indent a sentence or for putting a heading in center, use the spacebar.
2. Tabs - Do not use tabs. Use your spacebar instead.
3. No Special Characters - Special characters such as Bullets, Mathematical symbols, etc., are not exactly transferred in the ASCII text format, so avoid using these characters and reformat the ASCII text resume.
4. Word Wrap - Never use word wrap feature while typing resume in notepad. Use hard carriage returns (enter) to insert line breaks.
5. Fonts - Fonts will become whatever a computer uses as its default face and size, so boldface, italics, and various sizes will NOT appear in the ASCII version.
6. Spell Check - As you cannot spell-check into notepad, always check the spellings in your document before saving it as a text file.
7. Use capitals, spacing, hard line breaks, and non-special characters, such as asterisks where attention is required.
Due to large number of applications and shift to eCruit, companies are using computers to sort resumes by scanning resumes for keywords that indicate skills, education, and knowledge areas desired by the employer. Companies search resume databases maintained by career web sites by entering specific keywords and the computers scan the resumes in the database for matches. Therefore, it is important that scannable resume should be readable by the computer and that you should use specific keywords that are relevant to the position you are looking for.
The computer database is searched for candidate credentials by using keywords, which describe his education, experience, skills, knowledge areas, and professional affiliations. Every occupation and career field has its own jargon, acronyms, and buzzwords. There are also general keywords that apply to transferable skills important in many jobs, such as teamwork, writing, planning, coordinating, designing, etc.
So while applying online for a specific job, use those words in your resume, which have appeared in the recruitment advertisement.
Use Nouns Instead of Verbs
While applying online, try to use nouns to describe qualifications, not verbs because companies search resume databank by keywords, and those keywords tend to be nouns. For instance, "SQL Database Programmer" is generally easier to find in a database than "Designed and implemented departmental database programmer." So ensure that your resume contains nouns that are usually used to describe your industry. While applying, always think of the words that are generally used in the industry for describing your experience, and job area.
Traditional vs. Keyword Resumes!
The keyword resume must contain an adequate description of the job seeker's characteristics and industry specific experience presented in keyword terms in order to accommodate the electronic/computer search process..