Writing a resume might be a difficult process, but doing so is necessary if you want to be considered for a variety of different job positions. By creating a good resume, you can feel confident in knowing that you and your personal brand are being represented in a positive light to the people who could eventually hire you to work for them.
However, sometimes a good resume has flaws that you could not foresee, and is simply not enough. Employers can receive many different applications for a single position, and it can be difficult for them to review each one individually. So, to combat this problem of too many applicants, many employers use resume bots to aid in their candidate search.
What are resume bots?
Also known as applicant tracking systems (ATS), resume bots are not exactly moving robots that pick up and read your resumes. Instead, they are complex software programs that are able to take digital resumes, parse out the information in them and organize them into different databases. Then, employers and recruiters can select only those resumes that meet a certain criteria, and filter through those to find the right candidate for the job. This provides a much more time-efficient method for these hiring professionals, as they do not have to deal with quite so many resumes that may not represent quality candidates. Additionally, an ATS can be used by larger companies to easily track their demographics information, as required by law.
While some resume bots are designed to be very good at translating the text on PDF files into words that can be processed, other ATS systems are good at looking out for particular keywords and labeling those resumes in a certain way. Usually, it is rare to find an ATS that has all of the best possible qualities that. Consequently, a qualified candidate may be disqualified from a job if he or she does not have a resume that an ATS system will detect as representing a quality candidate.
How to Know if Your Resume Does not Pass the Test
You may be the perfect candidate for the job, but your resume could also be what is preventing you from getting any interviews. It is usually easy to tell if there is something wrong with your resume, in that you may never hear back from any employers after applying for dozens of jobs with your extremely qualified resume and well-crafted cover letter. There are a number of different potential reasons why this may be the case, but you might be able to spot them before even trying to apply. Many online services provide test ATS scans, which can show you exactly how your resume stacks up compared to what a typical resume bot might be looking for. You may also be able to figure out what kind of ATS individual companies use in order to craft your resume around a specific style. However, if you truly want to make sure that your resume can bypass any kind of potential ATS roadblock, it is often best to go through it step-by-step to see what you may need to change.
Ways to Ensure that Your Resume Gets Noticed by an ATS
There are a few concrete steps that you can take to adjust your resume, which should make it easier for ATS systems to decode and process. Using stylish fonts and interesting formatting might be pleasing for the human eye, but resume bots do not have quite the same eye for detail. In fact, ATS systems can usually only understand basic fonts and formats. Even if your resume is otherwise perfect, the inability for it to be read by a resume bot is a huge problem, as it means that you are automatically removed from the candidate pool. A resume bot cannot recommend you for a position when it cannot tell whether or not you are qualified for it.
Most employers want candidates who possess strong written communication skills and also have a eye for detail. If you make your resume using a word processor, you will likely notice most spelling errors and mistakes due to spell checkers.
However, small typos and even repeated words can often slip by unnoticed, which ATS programs are designed to catch. If there are any unprofessional grammar mistakes or spelling errors in your resume, it may not ever make it to a human for review.
As a computer software program, an ATS is incredibly reliant on the programming of the company that it is working for. Employers and recruiters will input a number of keywords that the resume bot should look out for, and that bot will only select those resumes that have most or all of those keywords. For example, applications for a project manager position should include phrases like “managed,” “optimized,” and “communicated” in order to be deemed worthy by an ATS.
Of course, there are other steps that you can take to make your resume look as good as possible while still being able to take the scrutiny of an ATS. But keeping these tips in mind will enable you to have a better chance of getting an interview.
An increasing number of companies have been begun utilizing resume bots in order to streamline the hiring process, so it is vital that you learn how to make your resume as attractive to an ATS system as possible. Being able to beat the resume bots can ensure that you get an interview for the job you desire. It is particularly disheartening to know that you are qualified for a job but do not get a call back simply because you are unaware of the employer’s human resources technology. Nevertheless, keep in mind that many companies are aware of the inadequacies of ATS systems and may still have individuals personally reviewing resumes. Additionally, the proliferation of technology systems like resume bots in the job market means that some more old-fashioned job search habits may actually set you apart from other candidates. Some career counselors actually suggest mailing a hard copy resume on high quality resume paper in addition to submitting an online application or resume. Furthermore, a handwritten thank you card after an email is a surefire way to make a good impression.