ATS Tips for Your Resume
Posted on April 19, 2010 by jobs
Sometimes the electronic job search process can feel like a black hole, but there are some things you can do to make sure your resume doesn’t get swallowed up by an ATS (Click here).
Here are 10 tips that will increase the odds of your resume making it through an ATS, as compiled by CIO.com:
1.Apply to jobs for which you’re qualified – In this day and age, the competition for jobs is tough, because there are so many qualified professionals looking for work. With that in mind, it’s better to apply for jobs that closely match your own skills and abilities, which should be the same ones listed in the job ad.
2.Know what keywords to include in your resume and cover letter – You should read each job ad in order to get a feel for the skills an employer is looking for, and target your resume accordingly, because listing those skills on your resume will make it easier to get through an ATS.
3.Learn how to pack your resume with keywords – legitimately – Most ATS use keyword-matching algorithms in order to identify potential candidates, so your resume should include the keywords and employers is looking for. You can easily do this by creating a paragraph near the top of your resume labeled "Strengths" or "Core Competencies," and listing any skills you have that match requirements in the job ad.
4.Vary your terminology – ATS are smart enough to understand variations of certain words, but it never hurts to change up the terms in your resume. For instance, use "programmer" and "developer" when applying for a software developer position.
5.Don’t let your location hold you back – Some employers use ATS to screen applicants based on their location, but finding a local phone number or address to use can help you avoid this.
6.Don’t use any fancy formatting or fonts – It’s easier for ATS to scan simply-formatted resumes, which means you should avoid graphics, pictures and tables. You also should limit the amount of bold, italics and underlining, and use a single font that will scan easily.
7.Emphasize relevant accomplishments – Even if your resume gets through an ATS, a hiring manager most likely won’t spend more than 10 seconds looking at it, making it important to highlight your accomplishments so they’re easy to find.
8.Mail a hard copy of your resume – Some job seekers may benefit from mailing a copy of their resume to prospective employers after submitting an electronic copy. You can attach a note saying it’s your second submission and that you’re very interested in the job, which could help you stand
out from the competition.
9.Follow up with a phone call – This is another way you can confirm that a company has received your resume and cover letter, while at the same time standing out and putting in extra effort, which every employer likes to see.
10.Don’t spend all your time on your resume or trying to game the system – Don’t get too hung up on trying to create the perfect resume or matching your qualifications to a job description. Using a simple tool such as a resume builder can help you stay focused without overdoing it.