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Converting Your Resume to ASCII
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Converting your Resume to ASCII

What is ASCII?

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.”

Why convert to ASCII?

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 use long tails, slant or dramatize the size of each letter.

How to convert your resume to ASCII

Converting a resume to ASCII format is a simple process if you know what you’re doing.

  1. Highlight the entire document and change the font to one mentioned above, along with a 10 to 12 point font size.
  2. Remove hard returns, bold features, and tabs.
  3. Replace bullets with asterisks or dashes.
  4. Capitalize headers, name, and any other items that require distinction from the remainder of text.
  5. Change margins: Left 1” and Right 2.5”. This allows for systems accepting only 60-70 characters per line.
  6. 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.

Excerpted from Resume to Referral.

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