Custom fonts, logos, and graphic images on your resume may make you feel smart and unique. The bad news…the machines reading your resume don’t like what you have done. Special features in a resume can confuse the parsing software and do not allow the data to be properly extracted or read from your document. Avoid non-standard designs, colors, and charts on your resume.

    The more standard your resume format, the better it will allow for parsing the document. Stay with easy-to-read formats with standard fonts like Arial, Georgia, Courier, Lucida or Tahoma. Avoid special characters that may prevent the proper parsing of information. Specifically avoid these elements that do not scan well:

    • Italics or script
    • Underlining
    • Reverse printing (white letters on a black field)
    • Shadows or shading Hollow bullets (they read like the letter o)
    • Number signs (#) for bullets (the computer may read it as a phone number)
    • Boxes (computers try to read them like letters)
    • Two-column formats or designs that look like newspapers
    • Symbols and logos
    • Vertical lines (computers read them like the letter l)
    • Vertical dates (use horizontal dates: 2009–2011)
    • It is OK to use a larger font for section headings and your name. A font size of 14 to 16 points is good.