Most medium to large companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen resumes. Have you ever applied for a job - only to hear nothing? Nada. Zip. No communication whatsoever. Welcome to the club.
Your resume was most likely deselected for consideration when it was uploaded and scrubbed by the ATS. The ATS software searches for keywords in your resume. If the keywords do NOT appear anywhere in your resume... you just got the "deep-six."
What can be done to help my resume get past the ATS?
Abacus Resumes, in working with professional headhunters and recruiters, knows how to write your resume so you stand a better chance of selection. Key action includes:
1. Your resume will be prepared with common fonts. When you upload your resume to "the cloud" - the ATS system will convert your resume to plain text. I know. This is painful. Be aware, that the recruiter/hiring manager, has access to your Word or PDF doc in their HR system - the "pretty" resume is not lost. However - for the resume to appear "readable" in the ATS, common fonts, and a classic resume "style" is essential. Otherwise -- it's messy. ATS cannot "read" a resume with extensive formatting. The goal is to get past the ATS, so the hiring manager/recruiter will pull your resume and review your qualifications!
2. Keywords are vital and must "match" what the position posting is asking for in the core requirements of the position. Your resume will include a "Core Competencies" area. Think of this as a "key-word" farm. When you apply for a job - you will scan the posting for keywords. You will self-edit your new resume, in the Core Competency area - to ensure the keywords match. For example: If the posting is asking for "solution selling skills" and you have listed "consultative selling skills" -- then you will change your skills set to match. Make sense? Good! This will greatly increase your chances of being pulled for further consideration. Keep in mind! It's vital that your resume is an accurate representation of your skills and abilities. This does not mean you add skills that you don't have. Only mirror the language the job poster is using in the opportunity.
If you’re interested in learning more, the following quick video does a great job of explaining the breadth of ATS functions in the hiring process – and why it’s important your new resume is “ATS friendly!”