Over the past couple decades, technology has played a bigger and bigger role in the hiring process. Gone are the days where hiring managers sorted through hundreds of resumes by hand to pick potential candidates. The applicant tracking systems (ATS) have taken over that tedious, expensive and inefficient process.
Many job seekers are unaware that the majority of companies use an ATS to screen resumes before they’re ever seen by human eyes. As the technology becomes cheaper and easier to implement, the number of companies using these systems will likely increase.
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What Do Applicant Tracking Systems Do With Your Resume?
9 Tips To Ensure Your Resume Gets Past An ATS
1. Use a standard resume format
2. Avoid fancy designs and images
3. Send the correct file format
4. Use keywords correctly
The ATS scans your resume for keywords to determine if it’s a good match for the position. You should already be using keywords that are common in the field or industry you’re going into. However, each resume should be tailored to the job listing.
For example, if you’re looking for a marketing position and you see the following job description:
- Acquire customers through direct marketing, paid search, SEO, SEM, partnerships and PR
- Develop customer segmentation and go-to market strategy
- Partner closely with our International Sales team
- Build our brand awareness through social media
You want to ensure that you have most of these keywords in your resume. As long as you have the skills mentioned, some keywords you would want to include are:
Direct marketing, paid search, SEO, SEM, PR, partnerships, customer segmentations and social media.
You do want to mention a good number of keywords in the job description but don’t go overboard. Stuffing your resume with many keywords is just as bad as not having any. Find a good balance of keywords and tailor it to each position you apply for.
5. Spell Check
8. File Name
You should include your first and last name in the file name as well as “resume.”
For example: John.Smith.Resume.Doc
Many times a hiring manager will return to the database to search your name in the system if there is interest. They will have trouble finding it if it’s under something generic like “resume” and they usually won’t go through the trouble of renaming your file.
9. Job Title
Including the job title on your resume will help an ATS understand that you’re a match for the position. You can even change up the title on your resume depending on the listing.
For example, let’s say you were an experienced accountant with the “Accountant” title on your resume. If you were applying for a position titled “Senior Accountant,” you could go ahead and change your title to that. The resumes the ATS feels are the closest match are shown to the hiring manager first. This is a great way to tell the ATS that you’re the perfect match.
With a growing number of companies now using an ATS, your resume needs to be optimized for these scans. Following these tips will help your resume get past the filters and into the hands of a hiring manager. Remember that your resume has to be written in a way that’s effective for both the ATS and human review.