A recent study found that nearly eight (79%) per cent of employers say that they are not receiving enough qualified applicants for their available jobs. It turns out that the tools designed to make their work easier can be creating new challenges for hiring professionals.
The research found that even the most qualified candidates are missing out on valuable opportunities because of overly strict filtering algorithms in applicant tracking systems (ATS). The study by the resume experts at Intry has found that up to 75 per cent of job applications are never actually seen by hiring managers or HR personnel.
This includes many candidates who actually have the skills and credentials to do the job. The precise wording of their resume just isn’t a close enough match for the keywords the software is scanning for.
How to avoid being screened out
Candidates who apply with a unique resume, customized specifically for each job they apply to, have greatly enhanced chances of having their application read by a decision maker and landing a job interview.
Read the job description carefully. Then, in your application, be sure to include any soft skills, technical skills, or other credentials that are relevant to the job. Crucially, use the same specific keywords and phrasing to describe your qualifications that employers used in the job description.
Optimize your formatting
Applicant Tracking Systems read text and look for specific patterns in your application to provide context for the keywords they find. Including images or overly complicated formatting can confuse the software and cause your qualifications to be overlooked.
Keep it simple. Use a predictable layout and make your skills and experience easy to determine with a quick scan of your resume.
Here is a basic format for an effective resume
– Your name and contact information.
– Your career summary. This is your elevator pitch. Briefly summarize your top qualifications that show how you can add value to the company.
– Your work history. Employers prefer work experience to be listed in chronological order, beginning with the most recent and working backwards. Be sure to highlight your on the job achievements for each job to demonstrate how you managed to stand out in the role.
– A skills summary. Here you can briefly list any of the soft skills, technical skills, languages, software, or other credentials that are relevant to the job. Again, be sure to describe these using the specific keywords that the employer has used in the job description.
– Relevant education and training (Optional). The more recently you graduated or have added certifications to your portfolio, the more relevant this section will likely be. If you have any specific training or accreditations that are requested in the job description, be sure to include them.