Did you miss our previous posts on applicant tracking systems (ATS)? If so, start here.
The easiest way to ensure your resume will be accepted by an ATS is to submit a resume that is both ATS-friendly and human-reader ready.
The two are not mutually exclusive; however, ATS-friendly resumes are formatted much more simply, while human-reader resumes may contain graphic elements that make the document easier to read and more attractive to the reader.
Because the ultimate goal is to have the resume reviewed by a human, even an ATS-friendly resume needs to be readable and attractive to human eyes.
Some applicant tracking systems can manage graphics (or simply ignore them), but since many systems can’t handle graphics of any type, it is best to omit them if you suspect an applicant tracking system may be used to handle the application.
Even if hiring managers aren’t using a formal applicant tracking system, they often file documents on their hard drive.
The main body of your resume is critical.
Some ATS software cannot read header and footer information, so if you include contact information in those sections, it may not be read. (And remember, geographic location can be used as a filter.)
Format is extremely important.
The employer name must appear before the date.
Work experience — your current and previous jobs — should appear in this format:
Company Name Date
The date should always appear to the right of the company name for optimum reading by the applicant tracking system. Dates can be included in almost any standard format. For example: November 2012, 11/2012, or Nov. 2012.
Work experience sections should also include the skills used in the role.
Technology is not the only thing jobseekers must consider when creating effective resumes. In our next post, we’ll look at the why it’s important to remember the human factor of the hiring process and additional strategies you can use to get around the ATS.
Note: This blog post only touches on certain aspects of this topic and is not a comprehensive list. This blog post is an educational and informational resource for job seekers and is not a substitute for working with a resume writer or other professional. See our Terms and Conditions for additional information.