Do you know your CV can be getting rejected by a computer before it even reaches human hands? Many qualified job seekers are not making it past the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). ATS is software recruiters use to sort through hundreds of CVs.
Tips & tricks around this.
The ATS software scores the CVs to determine which candidates are most qualified to move to the shortlist where an actual human (recruiter) will review. If your CV contains keywords the employer is looking for, ATS will rank you highly.
The flaw of ATS is they can reject great candidates because their CV’s are not key-word compliant or formatted to appeal to ATS. Here some ways to ensure your CV gets through the ATS software into human hands.
- Mirror the Job Description wording in your CV, including the tense it’s written e.g if job description says “management of suppliers” change if your CV says “managing vendors and contractors”. NB: DON’T copy and paste job description word-for-word you may be penalised by ATS.
- Nail those keywords. There is lingo in every profession/industry. It may be software, skills, certifications, licenses, responsibilities, or procedures. The words that matter in your profession need to be included in your CV/Resume. Use both acronyms & spelt out titles.
- Repeat important keywords related to your skills a few times in your CV. Do NOT merely stuff as many keywords as possible as the new scanners pick up this tactic. It will also be a turn-off to the recruiter who actually reads the CV if your CV does get past the scanner process.
- Make use of free cloud services like JobScanCo to help you determine the right keywords to use in your CV. Just copy and paste the job description into the generators and the software will tell you which keywords are important to include in your CV.
- Try and stick to text. Don’t use too many graphics, logos, or tables in your CV as fancy graphics, images, tables, and logos can confuse some ATS. Anything placed in header and footer areas is at times invisible to the ATS, do not put important information in these sections.
- Put in straight forward traditional headings such as; Work Experience, Education, Qualifications, Experience, Hobbies, and References and avoid creative titles as they may not be recognised by the ATS.
- Pay attention to the job title in the advert. E.g. if you are a Finance Manager, but the job title is for an Accounting Manager, be sure that you include “Accounting Manager” somewhere in your CV.
Source: Phiona Martins, a registered Organisational Psychologist with a special interest in Career and Professional Development.