There are two phases to getting your resume read. First, you have to get passed the ominous Application Tracking System (ATS), and that can be a feat by itself. Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, you have to entire the recruiter or hiring manager to review the content.
By following certain standards, you can increase the likelihood that your resume will be seen by an actual person and that they will take the time to read it. Before you submit your next resume, use these tips to up your odds.
Format and Structure
While individuality can be great in a lot of circumstances, your resume is not the appropriate time to flex your creative muscles. Resumes adhering to certain guidelines have a better chance of making it passed an ATS, and are more likely to be read once they are in front of a person.
Keep your resume in a .doc or .txt file type. An ATS can read these formats more easily that a PDF. This means it has a better chance of seeing the information you have included correctly, and it will not accidentally interpret the files as being a graphic instead of text. For similar reasons, avoid adding graphics and charts on your resume, as well as a headshot, as these may be problematic for an ATS to manage. Most recruiters aren’t interested in seeing graphical components either, so adding pictures for their benefit is unnecessary.
If you want the ATS to have the easiest time reviewing your work history, make sure you list the name of your current or previous employers before you list the dates when you worked there. That allows the ATS to more accurately follow the chronological order of events and lowers the chance of being rejected just because the system is having issues reading the data. Further, this layout is familiar and allows recruiters to quickly scan for pertinent information regarding your previous experience.
Keywords and Language
In most cases, you can find your ideal keywords from the job posting for the position. Examine the language used, as well as word combinations. If a particular phrase appears within the job posting more than once, consider using the entire phrase instead of single keywords.
You will also want to pepper your resume with keywords in more than one way. While having them featured in a list of applicable skills is helpful, they should also appear throughout the resume body. Add a few to previous work experience descriptions where appropriate to emphasis them for both an ATS and a recruiter. You can also add them to headings and subheadings as an additional way to bring focus to these skills.
Take the time to learn about the organization’s culture and preferred phrases. You may be able to find this information through their website or press releases. If you know someone who works with the company, you can inquire with them as well. Many organizations have their preferences when it comes to communications and the use of industry jargon. By using language similar to the one they tend to favor, you are more likely to seem like a good fit.
Find the Right Positions
The biggest tip to getting your resume read is to apply to jobs for which you are qualified. If you can’t integrate many keywords because they don’t apply to your experience or education, you may be aiming at a job that you aren’t prepared to perform in. If that is truly where you want your career to go, you may need to work on your skills so that you can perform the job duties required.
If you are looking for a new position, and want some assistance getting your resume read, Advance Staffing Solutions can help you get to where you want to be. Contact Advance Staffing Solutions today.