The job search process is a long process that requires you to have patience. It starts with filling the job applications through an updated resume and sends it further. But as days or months pass and there is no sign from the employer, questions start arising in mind: What happened? What went wrong?
A number of job seekers are not aware that their resume might have not reached the human hands.
Today, small recruiters or big, everyone use an applicant tracking system to analyse the information from your resume and map it to a database known as the applicant tracking system (ATS). The software mapped through the system scores your resume and ones with the highest scores are shortlisted while others are just left behind. This is one of the major reasons that you might not be getting a call from the recruiters.
Hence it is very important that as a job seeker you modify your resume and optimize it for ATS.
Here is how you can improve your scores:
Pick Up Language from the Job Description
When you apply for a job, you get a job description. You should use this job description to identify the skills required. Going through the description, you should be able to identify the buzz words, industry terms and jargons that the hiring manager is looking forward to hear from you. The ATS would use these as a benchmark to shortlist resume. Use keywords all over your resume.
Do Not Add Images or Graphics
Most of the systems are not used to breakdown images and graphics into any information that you are trying to say. ATS just reads the text and sorts it differently into buckets. Any information conveyed through images or graphics might look attractive but has no value to the machine.
The Fonts Matter
It is advisable that you use basic fonts when you are writing your resume. Stick with the standards like Georgia, Courier, Trebuchet, Tahoma, Arial or Impact.
Pay Focus on Your Skill Sections
Employers mostly use their ATS to search by technical or specialized skills. Make sure that your resume has an updated skill section that includes every special skill that you have attained. It could be a computer certification, competencies, strengths and other abilities. Include skills that sync you directly with the job. You might also be able to find these skills in the job description part.
Remove Information that is Irrelevant
When drafting your resume, only include skills and positions that are relevant to the opening in hand. Irrelevant positions can act as fillers. These can waste the valuable space on your resume.
No Special Characters Please
Ditch the special characters. They can block your way to the human hands. Keep your resume free from any kind ofcharacters. This can prevent your resume from passing it through the ATS.
Avoid Borders and Shades
Keep your resume to simple templates that are easy to read and understand
Create a Summary
Your customized professional summary should include a list of bulleted accomplishments and qualifications that relates to the job opening you are applying to and the desired skills.
Make it Grammatically Correct with No Spelling Errors
If misspelled, the system will skip the keywords. Therefore spell check and proof read your resume at least twice before sending it out. Make a third person look at it and rectify any mistake pointed out.
Your Contact Should be on the Top
Your vital information such as your contact number and e-mail id should take the top most position of your resume. There can be chances that if you are shortlisted, the system sends you an e-mail for further instructions.
Modify Your Resume for Every Job
Every job posting will have different set of keywords and phrases. If you want that your resume should score good in every job that you apply to, you will have to make an effort of tailoring your resume for every job that you are applying to.
Use Professional Help
If you have undergone all of his and still hear nothing back from the recruiters, it is time that you start seeking professional help to write your cover letter and resume. The experts have a fair industry knowledge and will draft your resume keeping in mind the industry needs. Especially if you are just out of college and looking for a job, you should be using professional help.
Your job search process does not end with modifying your resume. A number of recruiters today also depend on the cover letter to make their decisions. You can use a cover letter to include information that you want the recruiter to know but did not make space in your resume.
Some Job Search Tips to Remember
Remain calm and patient during the process. It is a long process and take a while before you land to something substantial. You should always draft your resume in chronological order placing your most recent experience on the top. If you are making a career change and moving to a completely new industry, you can go for a skill based resume. Once you are short listed using your resume, your next step is to master your interview skills, so that there is no chance of you missing an opportunity.
Before the interview:
- Make sure you research about the company well
- Make sure you have stories ready to build your answers and leave an impression on the interviewer
- Make sure you are dressed completely formal
- Practice your interview session through mock interviews.
- Plan a thank you e-mail just after the interview
- Plan a follow-up within 10 days of the interview
Finding your dream job is one of the most important tasks that you will do once you are out of college. Having a knowledge of how to make your resume ATS friendly and other handy tips can keep you at an edge from the beginning.