I’ve converted the PowerPoint presentation from the Resume Writing Workshop at my local library to a video. There is no audio as it was a simple presentation but, as you go through the “show” please feel free to email me any questions you have.
APPLICANT TRACKING SYSTEMS ARE EVIL!
As sad as it is, this image is so true. Applicant Tracking System (ATS) scans are a job seeker’s #1 concern…as if putting together a resume isn’t already difficult enough.
Let’s use some numbers to demonstrate the “black hole” that is the ATS. You are on Indeed and finally find a job to which you’d like to apply. You aren’t the only one.
1000 people see that job, 100 people submit an application, only 25 of those 100 actually get past the ATS and into the hands of a human. Then of those 25, maybe 6 people actually get an interview and 1 person gets a job offer.
How in the world can you ensure that you’re among the 25 that end up in the hands of a human? How do you beat the ATS?
THE STEPS TO BEAT THE BOT
1. Make sure you actually qualify for the job.
2. Keywords in the job description must be on your resume and they must match your skills. I’ve previously posted a blog about mapping a job description to identify the keywords … USE THEM, THEY’RE IMPORTANT!
3. You know they say you have to write a new resume for each job. Incorporating the keywords for each job description into your resume is what they’re talking about. ATS scans heavily weigh keywords in your title, career summary and skills list. They also rank you by how much experience you have listed. A good resume contains about 10 years of experience.
4. Design your resume so that it is robot friendly. Computers and algorithms can’t read graphics or cutesy icons. I’ve seen some resumes with a telephone icon next to their telephone number. Don’t do that for the resume you submit online. Keep those on hand to give to the human who’ll be interviewing you.
5. Uh oh, I just told you to write another resume, didn’t I? YES! Cutesy resume for human, non-cutesy resume for online submission to get past ATS.
6. Stop throwing your resume against walls and hoping it’ll stick. If you’ve gone through these steps and are actually qualified…APPLY. The odds will be ever in your favor.
One of the more common errors I see in resumes is the use of an Objective. I am here to tell you that employers can’t stand an Objective on a resume. You can bet they don’t read them. More often than not an Objective doesn’t relay any important information and just takes up space. The only thing the employer cares about is, “What can this person do for me.” The fact that you are “seeking a challenging career that will allow you to demonstrate XYZ skills” says absolutely nothing of value to them.
The first thing an employer should see (besides your name, address, phone number & email address) is a TAGLINE. Are you applying for an outside sales job? Then your tagline should be Dynamic, Successful Outside Sales Professional / Account Manager. In one line … in one statement … in 7 words, you’ve already told the employer far more than you would have in an objective.
After your tagline there needs to be a professional summary of sorts. Some small paragraph (no more than 3 sentences) that tells what you’ve done in the past and how you transfer that knowledge to now. You end that paragraph with a line that says, “Other demonstrated strengths include:” and you do a bulleted list of strengths, skills, and traits that put you at the top of the list in the employer’s mind. Align the professional summary and the skills list with keywords in the job description so that you can get past the ATS most companies use now to weed out applicants.
Questions? Call me or send me a message.
Email conversation with client –
Dear Always Typing,
I spoke with you early to inquire if my resume can be reinvented in order for me to start receiving interviews within my career path: I am currently a student majoring in human resource management and I would love to receive a paid internship or a human resource assistant job. Thank you!
Dear HR Internship Seeker,
The first place to start on fixing your resume would be to completely nix the “Objective.” The idea is that you have 7 seconds to get the attention of the person reading the resume so you don’t want to waste that valuable time telling them what you’re looking for…they already have an idea about what you’re looking for simply because of the job to which you applied.
Start off with a title and professional summary. Something along the lines of Human Resources Intern (on one line) and then a paragraph about you beginning just under the title in paragraph form. This paragraph basically answers the “tell me about yourself” interview question.
On your experience section, try to focus less on what you were required to do as a part of your past jobs and more on what you actually did. What accomplishments did you have at each position? Do a short blurb (a sentence or two MAX) about your required job duties and then bullet your accomplishments below that blurb.
Also, remove your HS education info. You’re completing higher ed courses. It is understood that you have a HS education. Remove your references, too. You would give those to your employer separately after they request them. You don’t have to put anything about references on your resume. Employers expect that job seekers will have references and they’ll ask for them if they want them.
Marsha @ Always Typing