One of the best ways to position yourself to land a great job is to make sure that you’re in the right place at the right time—and that includes making sure that your resume is in the right place at the right time.
Recruiters and hiring managers routinely use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to source candidates in their database for open positions. When they conduct a search for candidates in that system, they typically give priority to those candidates that come up first in the search results.
As you might guess, you want to be in those search results. Below are 10 ways that you can “beat” the applicant tracking system with your resume.
#1—Use generic headings, such as “Work Experience.”
Using headings like “Career Achievements” or “Professional Experience” may cause the system to skip over your work experience completely.
#2—Don’t limit the length of your resume.
The ATS does not put a limit on how long your resume can be. If you lengthen your resume to include more work experience and credentials, there’s a better chance that the system will rank you higher.
#3—Do not start your work experience section with dates.
The ATS does not look for dates; it looks for the names of the employers first. Make sure to put the name of your employer first, followed by the date.
#4—Do not use tables and/or graphics.
The system can’t read tables and graphics, so be sure to omit them from your resume before submitting it.
#5—Use relevant keywords and phrases.
The system is designed to look for keywords and phrases associated with the job, so include those that might be found in the job listing.
#6—Do not try to “mimic” the applicant tracking system.
Keywords are important, but don’t repeat those phrases throughout your entire resume. Recruiters and hiring managers do not like it when your resume looks like you tailored it to accommodate the ATS.
#7—Make your resume easy and quick to read.
The system scans for keywords, but it’s still advisable that your paragraphs are clean and legible. Put plenty of spaces in between paragraphs and don’t jumble them together.
#8—Research the company’s corporate culture.
Researching the company’s culture gives you more of an idea of what the company is seeking. Incorporate some keywords and phrases associated with the culture into your resume.
#9—Use bullet points.
This helps to ensure that your resume is easy to read, since it eliminates long sentences and paragraphs. However, keep in mind that applicant tracking systems prefer asterisks.
#10—Add a cover letter.
Adding a cover letter is a great way to further show that you fit into the company’s culture.
Last year, Time Staffing won ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing Client and Talent Awards for providing superior service to their clients and candidates. ClearlyRated's Best of Staffing Award is the only award in the United States and Canada that recognizes staffing agencies that have proven superior service and quality based entirely upon ratings provided by their clients and job candidates. Time Staffing received satisfaction scores of 9 out of 10 or 10 out of 10 from 75.4% of their placed talent, significantly higher than the industry’s average of 45%.
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