4 Ways To Get Around The Flawed Screening System Keeping Your Resume From Recruiters


Photo: Norway UN via flickr

We recently wrote about an online tracking system that large companies are using to screen applicants’ resumes.The online tool is supposed to identify candidates most qualified for specific positions, then passing those resumes along to hiring managers. 

However, these Applicant Tracking Systems are fairly new and are “maddening ineffective at doing what they’re designed to do,” writes Ryan Galloway at TheLadders

And this could be why you’re sending out countless resumes and not getting any callbacks. 

Despite how flawed these systems might be, they aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Lauren Weber at The Wall Street Journal reports that companies are estimated to spend nearly $6 billion on online recruitment tools this year because there’s just too many resumes for hiring managers to sift through themselves. 

To increase your chances of getting by these screens, here are four strategic ways Galloway says helps:

  1. Have a Second Resume. “You can keep your brilliantly formatted resume for email attachments and personal networking, but keep a simple .txt file on hand for online applications.”
  2. Dress It Down. “That .txt file needs to be as simple as possible. If your resume contains advanced formatting components like boxes, borders, tables, or images, pull them out. Text only.”
  3. Name Your Sections. “While your “real” resume might not contain section headings, your ATS-ready version should. Don’t be creative here. Use common headings like ‘Experience,’ ‘Professional Experience,’ and ‘Education.’ ATS systems look for these headings and break your resume down accordingly.”
  4. Understand Search. “Populate your resume with keywords that fit each job posting. Don’t just dump a keyword section into your existing resume – do the work and make the keywords integrate seamlessly with your skills and experience. The desired skills listed in the job posting are good indicators of what keywords the recruiter or hiring manager will be searching for.”

Now read about the keywords you need to use or recruiters will never even see your resume >

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