Make Sure Your Resume Gets Seen

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) makes the jobs and lives of today’s hiring managers and human resource professionals much easier. For job seekers, however, this can make the process of finding a new job much more difficult.

It is no secret that finding a job has become very competitive. Mostly gone are the days of going door-to-door handing in job application, as technology has all but replaced paper applications. Since we can now apply to countless jobs with only a few clicks of the mouse, it is easy to fall into the trap of the “spray and pray” method in hopes of something sticking. While it is easy to apply to a job across the country if you wanted to, it is also just as easy to get rejected from a job.

If you use the same resume for every job you apply to, the chances of getting hired are slim. According to TopResume, 75 percent of job applications are rejected before they are even seen by human eyes. Further, if you are lucky enough to have your resume make it through the ATS, hiring managers typically only spend six seconds reviewing it before making a decision.

Since the odds seem to be stacked against you from the get-go, you should do everything you can in order to beat the system. In this case, the ATS. Luckily for job seekers, there are some things you can do to make sure your resume gets through an ATS and into the hands of decision makers.

Select The Right File Type

This is an often-overlooked component of web-based job applications. With many different types of files to save your resume as, some are more ATS-friendly than others. Saving your resume as a PDF is a great way to ensure that the format is maintained, however, it isn’t the best for all ATS software.

If you are sending a resume via email, use a PDF so there can be no changes made to it. However, when applying using an ATS, the safe bet is to save your resume as a Word document (.doc).

Use Keywords

If you aren’t sure what keywords will stand out to an ATS, the first place you should go is the job description. Try to incorporate some of these words into your past experience. The ATS is likely tied to the job description so it knows what words to look for. These words or phrases usually highlight the skills, both hard and soft, you have gained from past experience.

Avoid Unnecessary Items

While a headshot or logo may be eye-catching and industry-specific, chances are the ATS will not recognize the image, so your best bet would be to remove them completely. That said, if you are applying to creative industry, you can still email a version of your resume with these components included.

Standing out in the job search can be tricky. You could be the ideal candidate with more than enough experience to excel in the role, but if your resume cannot get through an ATS then you will likely never get the job. Thanks to these tips and suggestions (read the full article here) from our friends over at TopResume you can beat the ATS and increase your chances at getting hired.

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