3 Secrets to Beating Applicant Tracking Systems

Picture this: you spend hours making updating your resume for your dream job and upload it with a perfectly written cover letter. Then, besides an automated email, you hear nothing back. 

When applying for a job online, you usually send in your resume to an applicant tracking system or ATS. These bots help companies quickly sift through hundreds, even thousands of applications to find the most qualified applicants. The ultimate goal is to have your resume pass the ATS and eventually make it into the hands of a human.

Here are 3 tips to ensure your resume is both ATS-friendly yet still pleasing to the human eye.

1. Mirror the job posting

A great way to make your resume ATS-friendly is to mirror the language used in the original job posting. Try focus on using keywords from the job description in your work experience, professional summary, or skills section. Caution: a resume that too closely resembles the job posting may be flagged. Don’t copy and paste from the description. Read these tips on resume writing

2. Save your resume as a PDF

Some ATS bots have difficulty reading .doc uploads. Be sure to save your resume as a .pdf to ensure the style of the resume will be preserved no matter who views your resume. 

3. Keep it simple

Beautiful templates and graphics may wow a human reviewer but an ATS bot will generally skip over embedded elements like charts and graphics. Use a simple and clean design that is pleasing to the human eye and still readable.

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