One of the most common questions people ask me is “what is an ASCII resume and why do I need one?”
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange, pronounced ask-ee) is a universal language that works across all computers and software platforms. Many resumes these days are read by automated tracking systems (a computer program that ranks your resume based on pre-selected criteria) and you want your resume to be in the simplest possible language for the program to read. You also want your resume easily accessible to the hiring manager, even if he is using a prehistoric computer.
So…needless to say, you DO need an ASCII text resume for uploading.
You might also be wondering why you just can’t use Microsoft Word? MS Word doesn’t always open properly and you need to be sure that you maintain the integrity of your original document. The automated tracking system can be confused by complicated formatting and if you really want the job, you do not want to confuse the computers.
The beauty of ASCII is that it stays just the same, no matter who opens it!