Online And Scannable CVs


Online CVs

You are faced with a number of problems if you decide to put your CV on-line. The first issue is one of privacy - how much information are you willing to share with the internet community? Posting a simple e-mail address may well generate a lot of unwanted junk e-mail. Personal details such as home address and telephone number are information that you or your references may not want to divulge to everybody or anybody!


Respectable websites that specialise in finding jobs by putting candidates in touch with potential employers are the best but they do not always offer a free service. Trade and specialist magazines in a particular field that have an on-line presence may well offer a better opportunity.
The format of an on-line CV may be particular. Ideally a site will ask you to complete a form on-line that will then be processed and posted correctly, sometimes allowing you to make changes, update qualifications and so on.

On the other hand sites which encourage you to send your CV in HTML format means that you have to make sure that your CV is displayed correctly on a number of different operating systems, screens and browsers. Unless you are already experienced, or are prepared to take the time to ensure compatibility, we do not recommend this approach.

Similarly sending a CV as an attached file is becoming common. You should make sure that you send it in the format requested, usually word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf) Acrobat (.pdf) or HTML (.htm). If no format is recommended, you should use rich text format as it creates small file sizes while respecting the general look of the original. Word files are bulkier and word files saved in HTML are to be avoided. Be careful of the time of day you send it (preferably during usual business hours).
As you can see it is a good idea to have your CV and your covering letter available in a number of formats so that you can react quickly to whatever a prospective employer may ask for.

Scannable CVs

A scanned CV enables key information to be extracted in order to short list and find the most suitable prospective applicants. A CV in electronic format can be put into a database by means of a scanner and a programme which recognises and organises text. (using OCR Optical Character Recognition) A correctly scanned CV depends on the presence of key words like NAME, ADDRESS, EXPERIENCE being associated with the appropriate information AND a CV which does not contain any text which is ambiguous or difficult to decipher.
Here are some simple guidelines that should be followed:
  • Choose white paper and black ink, print on a good quality laser printer.
  • Avoid lines, underlining, or shaded text, •bulleted text and hy-phens. These may cause difficulties for the OCR programme, particularly with dates.
  • Choose a clear font style (Arial or Verdana) and avoid serif, bold and italic lettering. Use CAPITAL LETTERSto highlight items.
  • Use standard A4 paper but do not fold. Place in a stiff A4 envelope if possible. Use two pages rather than small print.
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