Understanding the Technology
- The Net's Premier Resume Writing and Editing Service
When your paper resume is received
by a human resource department that uses a computerized applicant
tracking system, your resume must first be transferred from paper
into binary information that a computer can read before it can be
stored in the resume database. This is accomplished with a scanner
that is connected to a computer running a special kind of software
that can examine the dots of ink on your printed page and determine
by their shapes which letters they represent. This is called optical
character recognition, or OCR for short.
This software matches patterns with
sets of characters stored in its memory, which is one of the reasons
why it is important to choose a type style (or font) for your resume
that conforms to normal letter shapes. If you use a highly decorative
type style, the OCR software will have difficulty making matches
and will misinterpret letters. This means your words won't be
spelled correctly, which of course means that a keyword search for
the word bookkeeping will never turn up your resume if the OCR thought
you typed bmkkeepmg.
For now, let's assume that you
have designed a resume that the scanner can read. First, depending
on the company's procedures, your resume will be received directly
by the recruiter assigned to fill a certain position (if the job
was advertised) or by the human resource department in general (if
you have sent your resume unsolicited).
When the recruiter has finished reviewing
your information, your resume is added to the stacks of resumes
to be processed by the computer that day. A clerk will then put
your resume into the automatic feeder bin of a flatbed scanner,
separating your resume from the one above and below it with a blank
piece of paper. Within seconds, the scanner has passed its light
over your pieces of paper and the software interprets the black
dots of ink as letters of the alphabet. The computer then begins
extracting information to fill in its electronic form, which will
become part of your resume in cyberspace.
From Designing the Perfect
Resume, by Pat Criscito.
Copyright 2000. Reprinted
by arrangement with Barron's Educational Series, Inc.