Overheard: Word of the Day

Aug 4 2014   4:26PM GMT

Word of the Day: electronic resume

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse


An electronic resume is a plain text (ASCII), PDF or HTML document that provides an employer with information regarding a job candidate’s professional experience, education, and job qualifications and is meant to be read by a computer program instead of by a human being.

Many large companys process all their incoming resumes electronically by using an automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) or subscribing to a resume scanning service that scans resumes as images and uses optical character recognition (OCR) software to read the text. Essentially, the information contained on the resumes is entered into a relational database so when the company needs to hire new talent, someone from the human resources management (HRM) department can query the database for possible candidates. Resumes that match a specified score for keywords that were identified by the hiring manager are then selected for human review.

On the electronic resume, keywords can be stated in a separate keyword section, or they can be integrated into the text. The font should be simple and all text should be aligned to the left. Do not use underlining, bolding, italics or bullets as these can confuse older OCR software programs. In general, action verbs like "managed" or "facilitated", which are recommended for use in paper resumes, are not effective in electronic resumes because most ATS keywords are nouns.

Since computers read resumes differently than people do, recruiters recommend that job hunters should prepare two versions of their resume: a simple, electronic one for talent analytics programs and a more creative one printed on quality paper to hand deliver to someone within the organization or bring to an interview.

Quote of the Day

"Although they originally evolved to help employers scan paper resumes into a database, do basic screening and trace an applicant’s path through the interview and hiring process, today’s tracking systems are programmed to scan for keywords, former employers, years of experience and schools attended to identify candidates of likely interest." – Lauren Weber

Related Terms
Related Terms

applicant tracking system

talent analytics



relational database

keyword stuffing

video resume

Related Tags

Talent Management and Recruiting Software

Human Resource Management Systems


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1  Comment on this Post

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  • aleeza
    The idea of a digitized selection of candidate is pretty cool but I think live judgement works more better.
    30 pointsBadges:

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