Best resume tips from recruiters
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are software used by many employers to automatically screen and filter resumes based on specific criteria. To increase your chances of passing through ATS and reaching the human recruiter, consider the following resume tips:
- Use Relevant Keywords: Review the job posting carefully and identify keywords related to skills, qualifications, and industry-specific terms. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your resume, especially in the skills and experience sections.
- Clear Formatting: Stick to a clean and straightforward resume format. Avoid fancy fonts, images, and complex tables or columns that may confuse the ATS. Use a standard resume template if possible.
- Standard File Format: Save your resume in a common file format like .docx or .pdf. Some ATS systems may struggle with less common formats.
- Appropriate Headings: Use standard headings such as “Experience,” “Education,” “Skills,” and “Certifications.” This helps the ATS categorize your information correctly.
- Avoid Headers and Footers: Information in headers and footers might not be parsed correctly by ATS. Place essential information within the main body of your resume.
- Use Job Titles and Company Names: Be consistent in how you present job titles and company names. Don’t use abbreviations or acronyms that the ATS might not recognize.
- Include Relevant Experience: Tailor your resume to the specific job you’re applying for. Focus on relevant experience and skills that match the job description.
- Quantify Achievements: Use quantifiable data (e.g., “increased sales by 20%”) to showcase your accomplishments. ATS systems can recognize numerical values more easily.
- Avoid Graphics and Tables: ATS systems may not interpret graphics, charts, or tables correctly. Instead, present information in a clear, bulleted format.
- Spell Out Acronyms: Spell out acronyms on their first use, followed by the acronym in parentheses. For example, “Customer Relationship Management (CRM).”
- Proofread for Errors: Spelling and grammar errors can cause issues with ATS and create a poor impression with human recruiters. Proofread your resume thoroughly.
- Customize Each Resume: Tailor your resume for each job application. Use the specific keywords and phrases from the job posting that match your skills and experience.
- Include a Skills Section: Highlight your key skills in a dedicated section near the top of your resume. Use relevant keywords here.
- Education Details: List your education details, including the degree earned, institution, and graduation date. This information is often used as a filter in ATS.
- Avoid Special Characters: Unusual characters, symbols, or non-standard formatting might confuse the ATS. Stick to standard fonts and characters.
- File Naming: When saving your resume, use a simple and descriptive file name (e.g., “JohnDoe_Resume.docx”) to make it easy for recruiters to identify.
- Consider an ATS-Friendly Template: If you’re concerned about formatting, you can find ATS-friendly resume templates online that are designed to work well with these systems.
- Network and Follow Up: While an ATS can help you get noticed, networking and following up with a human recruiter can also be important. After submitting your resume, try to connect with the company through LinkedIn or follow up with a polite email expressing your interest.
Remember that while optimizing your resume for ATS is essential, the ultimate goal is to create a compelling and well-organized document that also impresses human recruiters once it makes it through the automated screening process.