There’s no doubt there is endless advice on how to write the “perfect resume”. Search the keyword “resume tips” and you will get over 100 million results to choose from. There are articles on how to construct the perfect objective. And information on what mistakes to avoid when crafting your curriculum vitae. That’s fancy for a summary of your experience which is pretty much like a resume. There’s even advice on how to convert your resume in to an awe-inspiring infographic that will wow hiring managers.
All this information is fantastic. But statistics show that 75% of big companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to screen candidates. To cut through the clutter I came up with the 5 best tips to increase your chances of getting your resume past the ATS, and in to a hiring manager’s hands.
- Use keywords. Your resume should showcase the skills, projects and experience that matches keywords to your job. A common resume hack is to look for keywords in the job listing that applies to your experience and pepper them in to your resume. These keywords will be picked up by the ATS but use caution by not overloading on them. An ATS may weed you out if it looks like you “stuffed” your resume with too many keywords.
- List specifics. It’s important to quantify your work as much as you can. For example:
- A. Implemented customer service software resulting in a 75% decrease in customer complaints
- B. Implemented customer service software
As you can see, example A. is much more detailed and paints a clear picture of how successful the candidate’s efforts were.
- Keep it clean and concise. Your resume should be well-structured and easy-to-read from top to bottom. Pretty pictures and flashy graphics are great if you’re a graphic designer…and sending your resume directly to an employer’s email. Straight black and white text works best when it comes to submitting your resume through an ATS. Also make sure to only include the most relevant information in your resume. I hate to say it but no one cares if you’re a foodie. Aren’t we all?
- Make it mobile. This tip is great not only for applying through an ATS but for applying on many mobile friendly job sites. According to online audience measurement company comScore, mobile devices and tablets make up 60% of all digital media time. Once your resume makes it through the ATS, it better be ready to be viewed on any device. Our friends at Online Resume Builders have a cool and easy-to-use tool to help you build a mobile optimized resume. Check it out today!
- List your most relevant and impressive details first. It takes 7 seconds to make a first impression. While I’m not sure if this applies in the virtual screening world, many sources say this is true of us humans. Once your resume hits the hiring manager’s desk, pull them in by listing your most valuable skills and experience at the top.
When it’s all said and done you should have a well crafted resume that’s set up for applicant screening success. That said, you shouldn’t bank on just one way to search and apply to jobs. Now for my not so shameless plug. There are two great services that help get your resume in front of even more employers and recruiters. The first is ResumeZapper. ResumeZapper instantly “zaps” your resume to recruiters looking for candidates just like you. The second awesome service is Resume Rabbit. Rather than spend hours posting your resume to every job board under the sun let ResumeRabbit post it to almost 100 job boards at once! To learn more visit ResumeZapper and ResumeRabbit today!