By now you should know that resumes are not usually seen initially by a real person. They are scanned into a database, and then a recruiter searches the database (ATS) by keyword to find the perfect candidate.
That means that no matter how dazzling your resume looks, the ATS will not be impressed. When the recruiter does the search, the only thing that matters is whether or not the ATS decides that you make the cut.
So what should you have on the resume that will make your resume ATS friendly? Here are some things you should definitely pay attention to:
Keywords. Keywords are key. Make sure you analyze at least six to eight vacancy announcements in your field to see which terms come up repeatedly. These keywords should certainly be on your resume. My recommendation is that you include them near the top of the first page under a category titled Core Competencies.
Certifications. If there are certain certifications in your field that you know are valuable to employers, and you have already obtained them, make sure to include them (along with their abbreviations) on your resume. The recruiter may search by the abbreviation if it is very well known in your profession, or the recruiter may search by the full name of the certification. Either way, you want to make sure that your resume makes the cut because the ATS can easily find this information.
Education. Many employers state in the vacancy announcement that a Bachelor’s degree is required and a Master’s degree is preferred for professional positions. In some cases it is worth your while to use the abbreviation for your advanced degree behind your name at the top of the resume. If you are in a technical field, for example, and you have a technical undergraduate degree but an MBA for your advanced degree, you might want to put MBA after your name. This makes that designation very visible. This is very important for technical types who are trying to transition into management.
Job Titles. Recruiters will also search the resume database by job title. Make sure that your job titles under the Experience section are flush left. Use a type font that is easy to read. (Don’t try to be too fancy.) If your job title for a particular position does not really reflect what you do, you might want to use a job title that is more descriptive of your work and one that employers will be looking for. You can then put in parentheses the actual job title that your employer has assigned you so that it will not appear as though you are being untruthful.
You can see now why it is so important to make good friends with the ATS. Your future job may depend on it.
Do you need help with writing your resume so that it floats to the top? Call 877-743-9521 today!