When a company posts a job on their website or through job boards, they can receive hundreds – if not, thousands – of resumes as a response. In order to manage this volume of resumes, employers often use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to narrow down the applicant pool to a few select candidates. Then, they’ll personally screen each to determine which candidates are a best fit for an interview. If your resume isn’t properly optimized, it may never pass the Applicant Tracking System and make it in front of the employer’s eyes. These tips will help your resume stand out among the rest and ensure you make it past the “black hole” of resumes lost to the ATS.
Applicant tracking systems rely on bots that scan your resume for keywords and match them to the responsibilities and requirements listed in the job description.
This means that in order to appeal to employers, your resume must adapt to each and every job you apply to. Not all positions are looking for the same skillset and experience, so your resume should not remain the same for all jobs you apply for.
Applicant tracking systems rely on special programming that parses or scans resumes and uploads the data to the system. These systems rely on your resume being legible and text-based. Choose a font that is easy to read and free of decorative elements. Remove unnecessary images and graphics from your resume that may not translate well to text. This includes tables, which can be easily misinterpreted by tracking systems. Lastly, save and submit your resume as a .doc or .docx (Word) file. PDFs are often difficult for ATS systems to read and interpret, so set yourself up for success by feeding the system its preferred input method.
One excellent strategy for standing out from a crowd of resumes is to put a face (or in this case, an email or phone call) to the name. After you’ve applied for a position, it’s a good idea to send the hiring manager or recruiter an email or phone call to let them know you are interested in the position and that you look forward to hearing from them soon. If that recruiter has not already seen your resume, chances are they’ll find it to know the qualifications and experience of the candidate that reached out to them.
Implementing these strategies will help you optimize your resume for ATS systems, infiltrating the inbox of any hiring manager. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn for more job search tips, and view our open accounting and finance jobs to share your resume with our recruiting team today!