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By Ryann Ellis
If you’re resolved to get a new job this year, you’ve likely spent the last few weeks updating your resume. Chances are an applicant tracking system (ATS) will be the first pair of “eyes” to view your application. In fact, according to 2018 research from Jobscan, 491 Fortune 500 companies use an ATS to perform the initial review of each resume based on keywords to filter or rank applicants.
An ATS is a type of software used by companies to assist with their recruitment and hiring processes. Corporate recruiters use an ATS to automate the extraction of information from an applicant’s resume and build a digital applicant profile that can be searched, filtered, and ranked. The goal is to speed up the process of culling applicants who are underqualified and identify top candidates.
While the benefits for recruiting professionals are clear, less-sophisticated ATSs can create hurdles for job seekers. Some highly qualified candidates fall through the cracks and are wrongfully eliminated from the applicant pool because their resume has formatting issues or lacks the correct search keywords.
Here are few tips you can follow to optimize your resume for modern applicant tracking systems.
Candidates who can predict the correct resume keywords will have the best chance of being included in recruiter search results. GetFive recommends looking at the job description to identify the most important titles, hard skills, and other keywords to include in your resume. Take note that these keywords must be formatted to echo the original job description exactly. For example, to an ATS, there is a difference between “Microsoft Word,” “MS Word,” and “Word.”
Similarly, the Jobscan blog recommends using left alignment for your resume text. While non-standard alignment might appear to give your resume a formal or edgy appearance, it could prevent the ATS from parsing content correctly. Also, any typeface that is unusual or a nonstandard size runs the same risk. Try to use fonts like Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Verdana, Tahoma, or Calibri.
Bottom line: Applicant tracking systems are here to stay. Optimizing your resume by following these tips is a key step to moving past the resume bots and getting a face-to-face meeting with an actual hiring manager.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019; https://www.td.org/insights/beat-the-resume-bots-and-win-that-new-job