When you’re thinking of purchasing a resume formatting tool, you’ll want to understand the features they offer to choose the right one for your needs and ensure you are getting your money’s worth. We’ll use the features of our resume formatting tool, iReformat, as an example.
Understanding the Features Offered by a Resume Formatting Tool
A resume formatting tool formats resumes to preset standards, known as templates. A single template will contain all you want the resume formatting tool to change about each resume it handles.
You may be satisfied with a generic template that comes with the resume formatting tool. It’s a good place to start if you’ve never used this type of software before and don’t have defined demands. You may mainly just want to make each resume look the same so they’re easier to read, for instance.
It also might be important to you to customize your own templates.
You can change:
- text size
- name formats — first then last, or last then first
- date formats — such as month before day or day before month and many more
- section order
- whether some sections even appear, such as the summary
- bolding, italicizing, and other text styles
- the presence of spaces
- whether other hiring managers see information that may trigger an unconscious bias
At Recruiteze, we even offer to help you customize your resume templates so you can enjoy the benefits of a custom template right away before learning the lengthy and difficult way how to do it yourself.
You’ll want to see how many templates the tool will let you make. One may work fine for you, but if you need four and the program only allows three, then you’re in a mess.
Parsing is the act taken by software to read and alter the resume. You want your resume formatting tool to do this very quickly, in a matter of seconds.
Flexibility is also important. If you want to format one resume or 1,035, you should be able to do that. But you also want to consider your needs and budget. If you can get a resume formatting tool with unlimited parsing potential at no extra cost, then go for it. If it will cost extra and you only need to handle 40 resumes a month, get just what fits your demand.
Most of the time, people want a resume formatting tool so they can send formatted resumes to someone else, such as another hiring manager or a client. You want the system to be able to do it for you and for the emails they send to look professional and match your brand.
This means you’ll need at least one customizable email template, potentially more if you’d like to send different email formats for different purposes or to different people.
If your purposes for a resume formatting tool don’t involve emailing or you’ll only be sending them to your spouse or business partner, you may not care so much about this feature and may forgo it if it will add to the cost of the software.
To send formatted resumes to a hiring manager or client, you may want to add information to the top of the resume for branding, to ease communications, help the hiring manager stay organized, and ensure you don’t lose credit for your work.
A custom header feature adds:
- the candidate’s name
- your name
- your company name
- your logo
- your contact information, in keeping with your unique branding
The custom footer serves the same purpose as the header and contains many of the same options.
In the footer, you can add:
- the candidate’s name
- your name
- your company name
- your contact information
- the date
- confidentiality agreement
- page numbers, with customizable formatting
You’ve certainly been frustrated that resumes vary so much. You’ll read one with the usual information, their education, experience, and skills, in one order and then read another where they’re in a completely different order, and then another where it’s some combination of the two, and so on. When you have to do this with a large number of resumes in a day, it becomes very tiring to the brain, frustrating you and making it difficult for you to concentrate.
A resume formatting tool like iReformat will allow you to set the order you’d like this information to appear in as well as common font and formatting options so all of the resumes you handle look the same and are much easier to read and review.
Resumes use tables that determine where the information is positioned, how far apart it is, whether it has a border around it, and so on. Like with the custom sections feature, you’ll want to customize the look of tables to make the information easier to read.
Our resume formatting tool allows you to remove borders, define the desired table width, and define the alignment and spacing for each cell of the table.
If this feature is important for your business’ individual needs, consider the options any resume formatting tool you are considering offers for altering tables. You may not need many or you may need more than a given software provides.
Remove Unwanted Spaces
Different candidates have different habits concerning spaces. This is one of the things that can make resumes irritating to read, but a resume formatting service can instantly remove these for you. Read the information given to you for any resume formatting service you are considering to see how the feature works. Does it automatically do this, or do you have to ask it to? Does it remove all unnecessary spaces or only ones that meet certain criteria?
iReformat removes spaces throughout the document and even between items in bullet lists.
There are a lot of date variations. Month before day, day before month, year before both. Slash or dash. Talk about something that gets really frustrating and confusing.
With a resume formatting tool, you just specify which format you prefer, or one your hiring manager or client prefers, and it instantly changes every resume to that template.
Professors, editors, and others who give submission requirements on written documents usually include margin specifications. That’s because margins have a profound impact on the readability, word count per page, and professionalism of any document.
Resumes from candidates do not follow one margin guideline, so if you’re going to be sending your resumes to a hiring manager or client, you’ll want to specify margin guidelines in your resume formatting tool.
A hiring manager or client may already have you formatting resumes and changing margins manually, but a resume formatting tool can do this for you instantly, saving you a lot of time and headache.
Candidate Information Suppression
This option is used for blind hiring and for keeping hiring managers from contacting candidates you are supposed to be contacting.
If this is important to you, ensure the resume formatting tool you are considering offers this feature. Also, learn what information it suppresses and what level of control you have over the feature to see if it meets your needs.
Bold, Italic, and Underline Removal
These styles can make resumes harder to read. A resume formatting tool can remove them instantly, so you and anyone else you share the resumes with won’t have to deal with them anymore.
You can have a resume formatting tool compile information from the resume and turn it into an executive summary. It’s like having a person read the resume and sum it up for you automatically.
The resume formatting tool is going to save the resumes in a new format such as .docx, PDF, or .txt. You should know which file formats any tool you consider is capable of saving resumes in to ensure they will be compatible with other software used by you and the people you’ll be sending the resumes to.
Use with Office
A resume formatting tool can be integrated with other software that you use. You might want to seamlessly use it with other recruiting software or Microsoft Office, for instance. When selecting your resume formatting tool, consider software you use for recruiting and ensure the tool will be compatible and potentially even integrate with that software.
Use on iPhone
If you want to be able to access your hiring information from home or while on the go, you’ll need a resume formatting tool that can be accessed on your mobile devices. There may be other business partners or hiring managers who will want to access the tool. Can they use it on their mobile devices?
Determine if you need this function and, if you do, make sure the resume formatting tool you are considering offers it.
Before purchasing a resume formatting tool, you probably don’t have any idea what many of the features mean or why you need them. Hopefully this post helped sort a lot of that out for you, what the features do, why you need them, and what options to look for in the feature to make the most of it. All resume formatting tools can’t magically solve your business’ individual needs. It’s important to match the right features and options to your business. So educate yourself on the features and make sure to give the software a trial run before purchasing.