When looking for a new job, your resume is the most important tool to help land exciting new career opportunities. And it’s no secret that a successful resume has to be up-to-date, well-written and highlight your most relevant skills and experience. Do you believe your resume is up to scratch but still not getting the right job offers? Then ATS software could be the problem.
In today’s automized world, any document we submit commonly ends up running through a bot before being passed into human hands. And this is far more common than you might expect – it is estimated that 99% of Fortune 500 companies utilize ATS software to filter the large number of applications that come their way. What may be a more concerning statistic is that only 25% of applicants’ resumes make it through the ATS software and therefore land on the desk of a hiring manager or headhunter. This could sound discouraging, but don’t let it stop you from pursuing the career change that you deserve.
The best way to guarantee that you are one of the 25% of applicants whose application makes it through this initial stage is to ensure that your documents are ATS-friendly and contain the right role-specific keywords, the correct file format, and much more. After receiving your document, the ATS software scans and ranks the applicant. Minor mistakes can make the software incapable of assessing your expertise, leading to qualified applicants being instantly rejected.
Below is a visual representation of how your resume is filtered through the ATS funnel:
Research has shown that large companies receive on average 50,000-75,000 resumes per week. This makes it virtually impossible to manually process each file to determine whether a candidate is a good fit, even for companies with a large HR department.
Our trusted partner, TopResume, offers a free service that runs your resume through an ATS software identical to those used by many Fortune 500 companies, providing you with comprehensive feedback on style, content, layout, structure, and much more. So far, they have helped over one million job applicants with their job-search process, making them the leading resume service in the world.
Here are some top tips from the experts at TopResume to ensure your resume is ATS-optimized:
- Make sure you are submitting your resume as a Word document in .doc or .docx format; older ATS software can have issues reading PDF format and could result in a rejected application due to formatting incompatibility.
- Don’t forget to add contact details such as email address, phone number, LinkedIn profile, and address. 1 in 4 people forget to include their personal details or format their details in a way that is not ATS-friendly.
- Avoid adding photos to your resume. It is common practice in some countries to include a personal photo along with contact information, this is not the case in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.
- Customize your resume to every position you apply to. Every application will require you to showcase your skills and experience differently. Make sure the right skills and experience are highlighted based on the job description.
- Include relevant keywords which represent both soft and hard skills you’ve gained from your senior-level experience. Keywords allow the ATS software to rank you against other applicants and assess how well you fit the role.
- Keep the layout simple – use bullet-point lists and clear section headings instead of creative symbols and colored backgrounds to keep your document well structured and readable.
To sum it up, writing a resume with an ATS in mind will increase your chances of success throughout your career. Throughout your job search journey, your resume should be the document propelling you forward instead of holding you back. Top tip: Working with resume experts is a sure way to improve your chances of landing your next senior-level position.