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Eight Ways to Beat the Resume Bots

Thursday, March 24, 2022 3:58 PM | Jennifer Poff (Administrator)

Tuesdays@2 kicked off on March 22nd with learning how to beat the bots in an age where a machine may be the first review of your resume. Approximately 40-50% of all businesses now use some form of an applicant tracking system (ATS) for resumes. The system relies heavily on matching key words between the job posting and the resumes received. It narrows down the candidates to approximately 25% before human review begins.

What tips did our speaker, Shelly Trent, share with us to beat these bots?

  1. Simplify resume formatting and place jobs in chronological order. No headers, footers, tables or serif fonts. The ATS can’t read special formatting and your resume could be blocked.
  2. Watch out for misspellings and incorrect grammar. The one exception is if there is a misspelling or grammar mistake in the job posting you may want to recreate that since the system matches the job posting with the resume.
  3. Application required in addition to resume indicates there may be an ATS. Be sure to enter details into the application and clean up any transfer of information that auto populates into the application.
  4. Remove objective statements and replace with headlines. Tell the organization or recruiter what your value proposition is. Then highlight your accomplishments in the area where you share responsibilities. The more you can quantify about yourself, the more you will stand out.
  5. Language should match the posting. Most ATS reviews look for 85% of the wording that was used in the job posting. You will need to tailor your resume to each posting.
  6. Remove street address. You don’t want someone to be able to Google your address as they could make false judgements based on size of house and income.
  7. File name should include your name. When you save your resume file use your name in the file name. For example, JaneDoe-Resume-2022. Do the same for cover letters. Pay attention to file type as well. Some systems can’t read pdfs, so you may need to submit a .doc or .docx file.
  8. Use your network. Social media is king in today’s job search. For every 10 minutes you spend on your resume, spend 1 hour on LinkedIn. 73% of recruiters today have hired from social media and knowing someone within a company or has ties to the company may help you in the event you get blocked initially by the ATS.

There is a tool that job seekers can use to determine how their resume matches up to the posting. Jobscan.co is a site that allows you to scan your resume and the posting to see how the ATS might impact your chances. In addition, it also has tools for LinkedIn optimization, cover letter assistance and other job search resources.

Here are some additional resources shared to help you craft that standout resume:

10 Boilerplate Phrases that Kill Resumes
Liz Ryan SFGATE

Confessions of a Recruiting Director
Brad Karsh

A recording of the session will be posted soon along with other previous content can be found on the event archives page of the Fridays@4 website.


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