The problems applicants face when sending their resumes online are quite alarming. You might be sending out your resume to tons of jobs, but aren’t getting any responses back. If this sounds like you, you are probably unaware of why your resume is not generating the desired response. Apart from being well-organized, informative, comprehensive and well-designed, you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. This is why it’s so important to know how to optimize your resume for online submissions.
Applicant Tracking Systems
Chances are you haven’t given enough thought to the applicant tracking systems. You need to ensure your resume is optimized according to the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) because most companies are using this system to screen applicants. If your resume isn’t optimized, it won’t be read by the hiring authorities, irrespective of how perfect you are for the job.
Basically, there are two important factors that determine the ability of your resume to pass through the applicant tracking system successfully —written words and their formatting. Below are 6 tips that will help you get your resume seen by the hiring authorities:
- First and foremost: use a Word Document with file format .DOC: Word 97-2003. Not every ATS can read JPG, PDF, .docx and RTF file formats.
- Keep the formatting simple. Don’t use footers, headers (not even for contact details), symbols, lines, templates, borders, or shading.
- Always customize your resume according to the requirements as mentioned in the job description. If it is too generalized, it won’t make it through the system. Add targeted, relevant phrases and keywords as per the position. Talk specifically; for instance, instead of writing ‘image-editing software’, use ‘Adobe Photoshop’.
- Find out phrases and keywords that relate to your intended job position. Add them as achievement-oriented, descriptive bullet points instead of just listing your competencies or skills.
- Editing is another crucial part of optimizing your resume. Be sure that there are no spelling errors because the ATS will not read them. If the resume passes the ATS screening, it will be again reviewed by recruiters. So double check it before sending.
- Pay attention to your skills section. Since employers are in search of technical or specialized skills, you have to be careful while mentioning what you can do. Add extra skills you’ve learned, like competencies, computer programs, strengths or anything that can make you stand out.
Now that you know some of the SEO tips to optimize your resume, it’s time to mention a few things that you should avoid at all cost when designing your resume:
• Credentials should not be placed next to the name. There has to be a separate section for them.
• Don’t list skills that you don’t possess or haven’t mastered. Companies will check into everything you’ve listed in your resume; you don’t want to get caught lying.
• Don’t use different styles, sizes and fonts in your resume.
Once you start working on these tips and try to avoid the aforementioned items, your resume will start to generate results and you’ll have offers in no time.
Need additional help? Reach out to Candace to learn more!