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How to Optimize Your Resume to “Beat the Bots”

If you are searching for a job, it may frustrate you to find out that your resume may not even get to be seen by human eyes.

Today, many employers and recruiters use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to narrow down their lists of applicants. With this software, many of the applications that employers receive never undergo a review.

To avoid this and increase your chances of employment, you may want to consider resume optimization before sending in your application for that dream job.  

Optimizing Your Resume

Understand ATS

Before sending in your resume, you need to understand ATS and its role in your recruitment process. Having a clear insight on this will ensure you know what to do and the pitfalls to avoid while drafting and sending in your resume.

When doing this, it would pay to think of the ATS as the first panel that you have to impress before proceeding to the next panel for further assessment. 

Focus on the Key Words

The ATS is set to pick candidates that have particular qualities that benefit the recruiter. So before you draft your resume, ensure you get some of the key verbs that will help you describe your qualifications and land you a job.

One thing you should know, however, is that keyword overstuffing is wrong. As much as it may get you past the bots, the recruiters will not favor your application.

By using your keywords wisely, you will get past the bots and impress your recruiters. 

Simplicity is Key

When drafting resumes, you may want to experiment with the newest designs and make your resume attractive.

However, the ATS bots won’t give you credit for that. Instead, they may disqualify you if the resume is difficult to comprehend.

For this reason, it is best to be as simple as you can. Let your resume be functional. Remember to also submit your resume in Word form rather than PDF since some ATS bots find it hard to read through PDFs.

Also, be careful to avoid using the header and footer sections for any critical information since some ATS bots may not read those parts.

Do Not Forego the Visuals

While you are keen to make resumes that beat the bot, do not forget that your recruiter will finally look at the resume themselves.

So do not forego the visual aspects of your resume. Ensure your resume is appealing to the eye even while maintaining its simplicity.

Customize Your Resume

If you are the type of person that sends out a single resume to five different recruiters, then this tip is for you. Do not send out general resumes to recruiters.

Take your time and edit your resume. Ensure that you only list qualifications and skills that are relevant to the job at hand.

Do not include unnecessary information in your resume. Just stick to the details that are relevant to the job listing.

Include a Cover Letter

Although most recruiters say that cover letters are optional, it will be advantageous for you to include one. Use your cover letter to stand out from the rest of the applicants.

By attaching a cover letter to your application, the bot will single out your application as one of the unique entries.

However, be sure to have a catchy letter that fills up the finer details you missed to highlight in your resume. Be particularly careful with your letter since any mistake could cost you your chances of getting the job.

Apply For Jobs Within Your Qualifications

ATS is programmed to pick out candidates with the required qualifications. This means that they will only single you out once they see your level of qualifications.

To save yourself the trouble of filling in the applications only to be denied, ensure you go through the requirements and only apply for the jobs that you are qualified to get.

Stay Ahead of the Game

While ATS could be an applicant’s worst nightmare, you could use them to your advantage.

Using the pointers we have given in this article, you could beat the bots and get yourself shortlisted.

So please don’t send your resume as it is! Spruce it up and increase your chances of getting a job.

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