Do you know what happens when you submit your resume for a job online? There is a chance that no human will ever read it. This is because resumes submitted to most online job portals pass through something called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). The ATS is a type of software that “reads” your resume or job application for keywords and to decide if you are a good match for the position.
The problem is, these systems are far from perfect. You may be highly qualified for a job, but the ATS won’t know it if you do not format your resume in a particular way, while including certain information and keywords.
Because of this, plenty of qualified job applications are discarded, and these jobseekers never get to show why they would be a good match for the position. So what can you do to avoid having your resume fall through the cracks?
Don’t make these typical mistakes
Although nothing is ever guaranteed, these three steps will significantly increase the likelihood that a human hiring manager will read your resume.
- Carefully read each job ad… and integrate keywords. When you see specific keywords or language being used in an ad, you should edit your resume to use that same phrasing terminology. Thus, if you’re experienced in creating “marketing strategies,” but your desired employer seeks someone to write “marketing plans,” then change the language on your resume accordingly.
- Important information should not be contained in charts, tables, or document headers. A lot of ATS software is unable to properly read information in these fields. This creates problems if you format your key job accomplishments inside a table, or provide your name and contact info within a header.
- Be particularly careful to avoid spelling mistakes. You already know that employers will view these as unprofessional. But even worse, they may prevent keywords from being read properly by the ATS, thereby decreasing the chances that your resume will be seen by a hiring manager.