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Well, it has happened. The digital age has made a lasting effect on job searching, and not in a positive way. In the last few years, the number of companies using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), the software that reads and ranks resumes, has more than doubled. And according to Forbes, 75% of qualified candidates are being weeded out because of these systems. Related: 3 Ways To Beat The Evil Applicant Tracking System (ATS) To deal with these systems, the first thing you should do is make sure your resume can be read by them. (See my article "Complying with the Applicant Tracking Systems" on how to do this.) But that does not solve the problem. I recently spoke to a hiring manager at a Fortune 500 firm and he said that, when he is looking for candidates, HR just gives him a list of the top 20 highest ranking candidates. That means the other 280+ people who replied to the ad, for whatever reason, are not even seen by the manager. It also means that, if you are not a perfect fit, you will probably not be noticed. For example, even though accountants are pretty much cross-industry, if you are trying to leave a telecom firm and move over to financial services, you may not be noticed because you do not have financial services industry experience.

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It’s no secret todays job market is unforgiving. Tell me if this sounds like you. You wake up at the crack of dawn, spend hours at a coffee shop applying for hundreds of jobs, each time you tweak your resume and cover letter until you hit that sour point where you realize, “Looking for a job, IS a job in itself.” It makes zero sense. You’re qualified. You have experience. And you’re passionate. Related: What’s An Applicant Tracking System?

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Job seekers’ least favorite activity has to be a toss-up between networking and submitting resumes online. This is not the result of a proper survey, but as a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, the vast majority of concerns I encounter from the public and clients have to do with these two subjects. People want to learn how to format their resumes properly for Applicant Tracking System (ATS) technology, since it looks like it's here to stay. However, knowing how to do this can be confusing. They also know they need to be networking, but wonder how to do it. What they are surprised to find out is that by mastering both, they can give the ATS a solid 1-2 punch. You might be wondering what they have to do with each other. In this post, I’ll explain a technique that could transform you job search. It requires a mindset shift – from applying with as many places as possible, to being more selective and allowing yourself more time to work with your network. But, it pays off by getting you more interviews, and into your ideal job faster. Keep reading to learn how to use this 1-2 punch in your job search and for the latest formatting tips to comply with the ATS. READ FULL ARTICLE ► Photo Credit: Shutterstock