Have you ever applied for that dream job (whether as a newbie in the corporate world or as someone seeking to change jobs or career paths) and ended up disappointed by the outcome? You never got called for an interview, and you must have thought, “Not even a chance to prove myself!”
According to Glassdoor, “on average, each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes. The typical employer will then interview 4–6 candidates for the job, and only one will be successful.” - quite an interesting yet upsetting reality. Do you know that the candidates who make it to the interview stage aren’t randomly picked and called up, neither is an assigned Human Resources personnel given the sole responsibility of sifting through hundreds of applications, checking for relevant skills, experiences, and grammatical errors?
Using a software application known as Applicant Tracking System (ATS), companies separate the chaff from the wheat, thereby determining whether you get an interview invite or not. The ATS is used by over 90% of employers to screen resumes and pass the most relevant and qualified candidates forward to the hiring manager. Unfortunately, about 75% of resumes are rejected by an ATS resume test because they’re not correctly formatted or keyword optimized.
This confirms that there is a science behind resume writing. The days of using the same resume for different job applications are long gone. Your resume needs leveling up, and here are 3 tips to guide you:
1. Keyword optimization
Keywords, in this case, refer to words that match the industry or job description that the ATS resume checker may be looking for. The more keywords you have that the employer wants, the greater you’ll score on an ATS scan. What are core terms/qualifiers used in the industry you are interested in? For instance, if you are applying for a project management role, industry terms such as resource allocation, risk management, quality assurance, collaboration, and follow-up, would make your resume stand out from the pack.
*Hint: Align your skills with the words used in the job description*
2. Spell out abbreviations
In Corporate America, there is an acronym for everything. Resumes are not the place for acronyms and abbreviations. Limit that to workplace correspondence or when sending quick messages or emails to your colleagues. An ATS may not understand all abbreviations, which is why it’s important to spell out any abbreviations you use, at least once. Also remember, the recruiter or person in charge of hiring is not necessarily an expert on the job’s functions. Make your resume easy to understand!
3. Include relevant information
The ATS scans your resume to determine if it contains relevant information and experience for a specific job. You’d want the information you provide to align with the job you’re applying for. Don’t submit two pages of experience from a sales position for an accounting job.
Now that you know why you haven’t been getting interview invites and how you can change that, get on with it already. You just never know when another job opportunity would come knocking. Which of these tips will you be applying to your resume-refresh process?