6 Tips To Get Your Resume In Front Of The Right People
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6 Tips To Get Your Resume In Front Of The Right People

A robot could be standing between you and the career of your dreams

6 Tips To Get Your Resume In Front Of The Right People

The job application process is entirely online these days. You cannot even go into a store and get a paper application. Gone are the days where you walk in with your Sunday best and look the manager in the eye and say, "I'd like a job, please!"

Truth is, paper job applications have gone extinct and been replaced with the shiny, new Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). ATS platforms scan over your resume and churn out a report to the human resources teams at a company, making candidate screening faster.

On the upside, resumes and applications are being screened without bias, so there is less prejudice in the initial throws of the process. The downside is that since a program screens your work history, it is looking for specific keywords and an easy-to-understand layout.

Having recently gone through a job search myself, I did a ton of research on ATS-compliance and how to make a resume that will work best in this new, modern era of job hunting. I have compiled the six best tips I have found to give your resume the best fighting chance it has to get you set up with your first interview.

Simplify Your Layout

Applicant Tracking Systems rely on scanning a resume for certain parameters laid out by the human resources team. The software looks over your resume for things it believes show that you are the right fit for the job. Since it's not an actual human giving it the first glance, you want to make sure your resume uses a template that is easily digested by the software.

I used a template from the Jobscan Blog and found it to be very useful. They have several free templates available, sorted by what your job-hunting situation is.

Use Keywords

Keywords have always been an integral part of web searches, and ATS is no exception. The ATS system crawls job applications looking for certain keywords. If the job is for a manager-level role, obviously they are looking for mentions of "managers" but they might also be looking for "coaching," "consulting," and "accountability." Be sure to research the job you are applying for. Make special note of what words you see mentioned in what they are looking for.

Highlight the Hard Skills, Dial Back the Soft Skills

Hard skills relate to skills that are measurable. Did you manage a social media page? How big was the page's following? Did you grow it during your time and by how much? These questions all relate to hard skills.

Soft skills, while not measured, are still important. Are you a good listener? Do you respond well to coaching? Can you work under little supervision? These skills belong in the cover letter of your application, not in the body of the resume. Keep the facts in the resume, the ATS platform will respond to that much better.

Avoid PDF and Submit Your Resume as a DOC

Even though both formats work for sharing documents, ATS platforms generally can read and interpret .doc and .docx formats better. Remember, we want to make the system like us as much as possible to maximize our chance of getting through!

Leave Out The Pictures

This is another example of the ATS platform's preference - Pictures don't come across and can be a confusing and garbled mess. Omit the charts, graphs, and pictures on your resume wherever you can. If you use bullet points, make sure they are simple and basic - no arrows or anything fancy like that.

Use a Resume Scan Service

There are many resume scanning services out there, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. In my job hunt, I did not want to spend any money on scanning or writing, so I tried a number of services that gave you a free assessment or free trial. I ran my resume often and everywhere across these tools. The free services can have limitations, but they generally give you a good idea of where to start. I used TopResume, ResumeWorded, and SkillSyncer, and I found them all to be extremely helpful as a place to start.

Keep these tips in mind next time you apply for a job, and you might be able to get past the ATS and on your way to a new career!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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