Updated: Apr 26, 2022
"The definition of insanity is sending out the same resume, without tailoring it, over and over again and expecting a different outcome" ~ ECNY Corp.
Making yourself noticed can prove challenging when looking for a new career. Oftentimes, employers get tons of applications for one position along with many, many resumes to read. And, on top of that, they use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that do the heavy lifting of comparing your resume to the job description causing many to never be seen by the
potential hiring manager for reasons a host of reasons like the keywords from the job description did not appear in your resume or the HR person who may have seen your resume, didn't think it was a match for the role.
There are two important things to consider when submitting your resume:
Make sure your resume is tailored to show how your experiences and skills match the job description. Of course, you shouldn’t match word for word but certainly use some of the key words that are part of the job listing. It may seem like a lot of work to tailor for every job, but it is essential for you, your skillsets, and your background to bubble up out of the ATS and have your resume land up in the “I want to speak to this person” pile!
Make sure your resume is using best formatting practices and not utilizing the kinds of things that ATS systems can’t read for example:
Crazy or unfamiliar fonts – more and more fonts become available all the time and ATS systems may not be updated or even able to read the ones that are off the traditional path. You may want to be creative but to get your resume to the hiring manager, you don’t want to use anything the system may deem as unreadable. Best practice is using common fonts like Times New Roman or Arial for best compatibility.
Logos & Images – As with unusual fonts, company ATS’ can reject documents that include images and logos as unfamiliar. And it’s not typical for resumes in the United States to include pictures (for most industries). Note however, this may be different in other regions. Save this creativity for when you meet with a hiring person face to face when you can hand them a more creative and/or elegant resume.
Page borders –Page borders can distract from the readers and ATS’ from the core information on your resumes while also triggering spam. They can also give resumes an unappealing dated feel about your resume and possibly about you to your potential employers.
Thinking through the best ways to showcase your story through
proper experience matching to the job you are applying to along with the best formatting to get the machines to see that information properly should be your goal. It is a new computerized world out there and companies are using computer programs more than ever to help them wade through hundreds of resumes they receive for each job they post. You want to be the one whose resume r
ises to the top and gets you that interview because of your experience and background but also because you followed what the ATS system needs to read all your great information well.
For more tips and resume techniques, visit: CareerMapLI.org