The Best Ways to Optimize Your Resume With Keywords
ATS, or applicant tracking systems, are used by many organizations to manage responses to recruitment campaigns. One of their functions is to filter CVs in response to advertisements. It is estimated that over 70% of CVs are screened out by ATS systems, similar software is also used by job boards as part of their 'CV sifting' service to allow recruiters to trawl the job board database for suitable applicants. In order to avoid getting your CV discarded at this early stage, you should make sure it doesn't get filtered out.
Read job descriptions of your target jobs
In ATS systems, keywords and phrases are recognized based on their recognition of words and phrases. Therefore, you should align your headings, key skills, and job titles with those terms that are commonly understood in your industry. Read carefully the job descriptions and candidate specifications for the jobs you're interested in and you will be able to identify the keywords employers are looking for. You can weave these phrases into your CV.
Align job titles to industry-standard terms
The most important key phrases in your CV are job titles. You should adapt your CV to include job titles that are most widely recognized within your industry. This could be an unfortunate development for businesses that have been creative with their job descriptions. Being a guru or 'genius' may work wonders for morale, but ATS software may not fully understand such terms.
Formatting and tables
A lot of ATS systems prefer simple, clear formats without tables or pictures. Because of limitations in technology, these formats will often be ignored by parsing software. Try to avoid fancy fonts and stick to the most commonly used like Tahoma, Calibri or Arial. It is a good idea to place your contact information at the beginning of your CV, not underneath a table or header.
Your CV will still be read by a human
ATS systems are only the beginning of the process. Your CV needs to stand out to human eyes from this point forward. It is therefore essential to follow the usual best practice guidelines when writing your CV. Since there is no ATS, the decision about whether to call you to interview will be made by a person. An effective CV includes examples of relevant achievements, looks professional, and is targeted.
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