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Many employers are overwhelmed by the number of resumes they receive. As a result, it’s common for recruiters to use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to filter through them. Jobscan even reports, “90 percent of Fortune 500 companies filter job applicants and resumes through an ATS before a live person reads through job applications.” A critical first step in your job search is designing a resume with the computer in mind. Here are some strategies that should help.

Make Sure Your Job Titles Match the Job You’re Applying For

One of the key features of an ATS is the ability to search for candidates based on keywords. This is largely how a recruiter sorts through the list of resumes to narrow it down. Jobscan also points out, “If your resume contains the keywords the employer wants, the ATS will rank you higher in the search results.”

In order to make it to the top of the pile, it’s crucial the job titles on your resume match the specific job you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a job as a forklift operator, you want the keywords “forklift operator,” “forklift driver” or something similar on your resume. This may take some tweaking for each application, but is well worth it.

Make Sure Your Skills and Abilities Match the Job Description

The same concept applies to the skills and abilities listed on your resume. They too should match what’s on the job description. Jobscan states, “The keyword searches by recruiters include the skills and experiences specific to the particular job opening.” Before submitting your resume, be sure to review the job description thoroughly and make any necessary adjustments to your skills and abilities so they match (while still being truthful of course).

Show How You Made an Impact

Another way to leverage this type of software is by being specific with the impact you’ve made at other jobs in the past. For instance, you might mention you helped increase productivity or efficiency by 10 percent within your first six months. Try to incorporate concrete numbers like this whenever possible.

Keep Your Format Simple

Finally, there’s the topic of formatting. As a rule of thumb, keep your resume format as simple and straightforward as possible. Not only does this help computers “read” it, this makes it easier for human recruiters to scan and digest later on.

Like it or not, ATS software is widely used by many of today’s employers. Understanding how it works and which areas of your resume to focus on should help you design a resume the computer loves to read. In turn, you can increase your chances of landing an interview and getting hired.

Don’t go to your job search alone. Contact the professionals at Axiom Staffing Group today.


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