A recent study indicated over 70% of companies are now using Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software that ranks your resume according to their keywords. For example, Microsoft gets about 50,000 resumes per week, so they need a system that will automatically review these and only show those that are a good fit. If your resume does not rank high here, there is a good chance the human eye will never see it. I have to say these systems, although they make sense for the Microsofts of this world, make it extremely difficult for the job seeker. One problem is every company has different keywords, and what you think might be a keyword often isn’t. The other challenge is the ATS will only recognize certain sections. For example, if your resume does not start off with the word “Summary” your entire opening will be ignored. The systems can’t read tables and do not know how to interpret PDF files. There are also many other “rules” you have to know to ensure your resume will be seen. The ATS is probably the biggest reason people apply to jobs that are a “perfect fit” and get no response. In short, to write a good resume you need to be trained and understand how the ATS works.
August 08, 2012