As technology has advanced, so has it’s involvement in the hiring process. Hiring managers no longer have to pick through hundreds of resumes by hand. The applicant tracking system (ATS) has taken care of that.
Many job seekers are unaware exactly how many companies use an ATS to screen resumes before they’re ever read by a human. As the technology becomes cheaper to use, the number of companies will increase every year.
Applicant Tracking Systems are designed to screen resumes for what are considered the requirements for the position, including education, experience, and other factors, such as security clearance. These systems routinely reject 75 percent of the resumes submitted on average. Most of those resume are rejected because they’re not optimized for an ATS scan.
Use a standard resume format so that the ATS can read your resume. Stick to the traditional chronological, functional, or hybrid resume format. Be sure to avoid using headers or footers, as those tend to be cut off.
This is an extremely common mistake because people tend to think only of impressing the hiring manager, the person, at the end of the resume search. Using fancy colors, designs, and fonts are a problem for resumes to get past the ATS, so be sure to impress the hiring manager with your resume content instead of it’s design.
While some systems are getting more sophisticated, the majority of ATS still require either a Microsoft Word Document or a .pdf format. Avoid sending anything else unless you’re certain that the company’s ATS is able to read it. Be sure to check the job description to see if there’s any instructions as to format.
Besides making sure that the basics like spellcheck aren’t replacing words with what you intend (thank you, autocorrect) but also be sure to spell out any acronyms. While a human understands that R.N. stands for “registered nurse”, you can’t guarantee that the ATS does. Make sure your resume is seen by writing out what each acronym stands for at least once on your resume, even if it’s under the Skills section or in a bullet point list.
This tip only applies to those staying in the same field. If possible, included the job title on your resume to match as closely as the position you’re applying for. For example, if you’re experienced in business development and you’re applying for a senior business position, writing “Senior Business Developer” will get you further through the ATS than simply “Business Developer” or “Experienced Business Developer”.
Before saving your resume, be sure to include your entire name in the file name and the word “resume”. For example, instead of saving your resume as: “Resume.Final.2020“, save it with your name instead: Jane.Doe.Resume.Aerospace.Engineer. Hiring managers receive far too many resumes under the title “resume” and yours can get lost in the shuffle. Include your first and last name, what document it is, and what position you’re applying for. Make sure they find your resume!
Before you click ‘send’, you can compare your resume to the job openings you’d like to apply to, and get the feedback you need. This impersonal feedback is coming from a computer, but that’s the system you’re trying to get past. Make sure to compare and contrast and your resume will make it past the 70% removal rate in no time.
You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser to view this page.