How to write a resume that get attention of the recruiters (and robots)?
- The key to success is using keywords: You could eliminate your CV from the review by simply using a different tense or phrase. While you may be describing the same responsibilities as the hiring manager, you might not come up in the search results if you wrote, "Managed projects from design to implementation."
- Research the ATS system if you know it in order to increase your chances: ATS systems are designed to streamline work for humans, but they do not all accomplish this in the same way. Try Google searches to see if you can find any information on how to adapt your resume for the ATS you are applying to, if the name of the system is visible to you.
- Resumes should match job descriptions: You should also fill out as much of the job description as possible in your resume, in addition to keywords. Ensure your resume includes any leadership, budgeting, and project management responsibilities included in the job posting.
- Format and type of file: ATS may reject PDFs because they are not bot-friendly, so although your resume would appear formatted in a PDF, it might not pass through. You should follow the directions for file format if they are provided in the job posting. Otherwise, submit a Word document as a safe bet.
- In headers and footers, do not include critical information: Headers and footers aren't always able to be extracted by some systems. Ensure that the main body of your resume includes all the relevant information about your background and experience.
- Human touch is critical: Despite technological advancements, human touch or a personal approach still matters: It is possible to bring your name to the attention of the hiring manager with a handwritten note or an e-mail sent to them. If you weren't included in the ATS' search results, you might pique their interest enough to make them dig a little deeper for your credentials. An extra human touch never hurts in a competitive job market.
- Make sure you only apply to roles for which you are qualified: The first step is to make sure you are truly qualified for the roles you are applying for. There is no rule that says you must meet every single job requirement or you must only apply for jobs that require traditional backgrounds.
- Avoid applying to multiple jobs at the same company at the same time: You can also keep track of all the jobs you've applied to at a company using an applicant tracking system. Apply to both roles if a company has two very similar positions available. If you are equally happy in two very different roles and have a range of skills and interests, you may apply to both, though it is important to tailor each resume to the job description.
- Use the right keywords when writing your resume: Essentially, applicant tracking systems scan resumes for key pieces of information to determine if you're a match for a job opening, just like people do when they read resumes. If you want to write a resume for an ATS, you need to make sure that key information is included and that it's easy to locate.
- The ATS cannot be tricked: In your search for tips on fooling an applicant tracking system, you may have come across advice about pasting keywords in white, pasting the entire job description in white, repeating the keywords as many times as possible, or adding a section labelled “keywords” where you add various words from the job description.
- Make sure you choose the correct file type: When it comes to resume file types, only two are truly competing: .docx vs .pdf. While PDFs preserve your format the best, ATSs parse .docx files the most accurately. Using a .docx file will help you pass the ATS. However, make sure you follow directions (if the listing asks for a certain file type, send it!) and take the posting's word for it (if the posting says a PDF is acceptable, then send it).
- Be sure your resume is easy to read (by humans and robots): As well as ensuring that your resume contains the right content, you need to ensure that the applicant tracking system can understand that information and deliver it to the person on the other end.
- Make sure you don't overdo it with formatting: Despite how much this pains you, getting rid of that expensive template or heavily designed custom resume is probably your best option. Most ATS' convert your resume to a text-only format so that they can scan for relevant keywords.
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