get your resume past an ats

What do you know about Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)?

Job seeking can sometimes be compared to throwing your resume into a black hole. You go through 100 listings on any job search website and complete the online application with zero results. Ever have that happen?

The problem is that you’re probably not putting the correct keywords into your resume.

When you hit “Submit” on an online application, it isn’t magically emailed to the hiring manager. It goes through this computer system that scrubs your resume for specific keywords that are found in the job description posted by the company. It also looks for years of experience and education, among other things.

Know your audience & have a back-up plan

Your resume must be written to impress 2 audiences — the ATS and a hiring manager. Having a document that speaks to a computer and a human being can be a daunting task. Many resume writers will tell you that you need to stand out in the sea of sameness by adding some personality to your resume through design.

The name of the game is to always have your resume at the top of the stack.

Some resume No-No's related to the ATS

Once you’ve narrowed down your target career path and are getting ready to apply for jobs it’s important to be sure your resume will not be rejected. 

Here are some tips to help make sure your resume won’t end up in a digital nowhere land:

  • Jargon and buzzwords: (1) they are probably not lending any value to your resume that will get you past the ATS and hiring managers hate seeing “experienced go-getter,” self-motivated,” and “dedicated, reliable individual.”
  • Overly designed resumes: Many job seekers feel like they’ll stand out from the crowd by having a creative-looking resume. The fact is that ATS cannot properly parse information from these resumes as they can’t read the information in text boxes, graphs, charts, tables, nor can they read images. If the ATS can’t read it, it will be rejected.
  • Font & margins: Make sure you’re using the right font, keep the font size to at least 10pt, and have margins that are no less than 1/2″. Some acceptable fonts are: Calibri, Cambria, Garamond, Tahoma, Trebuchet, and Veranda.

Help is available, if you need it. Send us your current resume for a free review.

Of course, all of this can be a lot to take in — especially considering that we haven’t even talked about accomplishments, certifications, publications, honors, and projects. If you need help, drop us a line.

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