4 Tips to Get Your Resume Past The Gatekeeper (i.e. Applicant Tracking Systems)

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are used by recruiters/companies, to help collect, organize and search through the tremendous amount of resumes that they get on a regular basis.

According to CIO Magazine, 75 percent of job hunters get their career aspirations knocked off-track because of the way that ATS software handles resumes.

But there are ways that you can develop a resume that gets past an ATS and winds up in the hands of a recruiter/hiring manager.


Customize Your Resume

Customizing your resume for every potential employer is something that many experts recommend, but the University of Illinois at Chicago says that customizing resumes is essential for getting past an ATS. Utilize keywords and phrases and information that speak directly to a potential employer and your resume stands a much better chance of getting past that employer’s ATS.


Utilize Keyword Optimization Tools

Since an ATS is a software program designed to analyze resumes based on content matching, you can fight fire with fire by employing keyword optimization tools to make sure that you are using the proper keywords to get your resume noticed.

There are many resume keyword optimization programs that will compare the keywords you are using to the type of job you are applying for and help you to use the proper concentration and type of words to get better results. While these programs are not ATS-based, they will give good insight into what types of keywords you should be using to get past an ATS program.

Two tools you can use for this are Jobscan and Wordle.


Never Use A PDF File Format

Using PDF resumes to make job applications is something many job hunters do, but it could also be damaging your chances at getting past an ATS. According to CIO Magazine, sending your resume in PDF format only help to confuse an ATS, as most ATS software is not designed to be able to precisely read content from a PDF. A better way to get your resume read is to use some form of a Microsoft Word file format when sending over a resume.


Lay Off The Images

Professionals, especially those looking for work in creative fields such as web design and graphic arts like to develop resumes that show off their talents. This can be an extremely effective method if a human being is screening the resumes, but it is might not work if your resume goes through an ATS. According to HCareers.com, most ATS software only read text. That means that utilizing too many images and graphics could cause problems for your resume.


We can help you develop a resume that will get through an ATS and get in front of a recruiter/hiring manager. Have a look here for more information.

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