In this blog post I will show you how to get past the ATS system that most recruitment firms use to screen qualified candidates so you can start getting more interviews and hopefully land your dream job! I’ve been applying for a myriad of positions in marketing, engineering, recruiting, and photography using online job boards for years and the results have left much to be desired, to the point where my frustration lead me to research available options on how to improve my resume and start getting more interviews instead of the usual automated “Not Qualified” email reply from corporate recruiters.
It wasn’t long before I discovered that the majority of organizations use a resume-filtering bot called Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to weed out the losers from winners. This automated system combs through resumes, favoring only those written with its robot sensibilities in minds and rejecting all the rest. I understand why large organizations utilize this system (big companies receive 50K-75K resumes per week!) but that’s where my sympathies end.
Many smart people claim that robots are coming for our jobs in the next few decades — humans that can be replaced by automation will eventually be phased out. I would argue that robots are already stealing our jobs in a very real sense by preventing otherwise qualified candidates a chance to get to the interview phase and maybe even land their dream job.
For more information on optimizing your digital resume and online presence I highly recommend reading Top 5 Powerful Marketing Automation Tools for LinkedIn.
This begs the question, how can you become highly-skilled, make yourself indispensable and stand out from the competition? I always reach the same conclusion. The obvious answer is to become an entrepreneur, be your own boss, build a profitable business, and hire employees to work for you! But what if in the meantime you need a stable J-O-B to make consistent income every month to not only survive, but thrive in today’s modern world? Perhaps you’re skilled, intelligent, ambitious and would rather not work for minimum wage at McDonald’s to earn your keep… Especially if you’re living in a growing city facing an affordability crisis like Austin, Texas.
To determine what makes a resume compatible with an ATS, TopResume recently analyzed 1,000 resumes from professionals across the U.S. with at least eight years of experience to identify the most common resume mistakes that will cause an applicant tracking system to toss an application. The infographic below highlights some of the most costly mistakes that make a resume incompatible with an ATS scan.
After reading through the above infographic, you will quickly realize how staggering low the odds are of being contacted for an interview by a large organization like Apple, Google, or Facebook. So, how can you improve your chances of being seen as a qualified candidate and asked in for an interview?
You can hire a professional resume writer on the online marketplace Fiverr, which provides you a comprehensive list of remote freelancers eager to work on your next project in multiple different niches – Graphics, Digital Marketing, Writing, Video, Music, Programming, Business, and Lifestyle.
However, if you’re like me and already have a professional resume put together with all your relevant experience, education, skillsets, and keywords; it’s now a matter of getting a resume critique from an expert. I recommend submitting it to TopResume for a free confidential review. They will send you an email with your complete resume critique with recommendations for improvement within 24 hours. Of course, at the end of the report they attempt to up-sell you on resume rewriting services with prices ranging from $149 – $349.
As a self-starter, I would rather not pay for something I can simply do myself. Besides, the feedback was very similar for the original and updated high-scoring resume, so it may not be the most trustworthy source of information. It’s still an online business focused on towing the bottom line — charging for their professional services. However, this service does provide you constructive criticism that you can use to reverse engineer what recruiters are looking for.
I highly recommend submitting your resume for a free review on a website called SkillRoads. This online tool utilizes Artificial Intelligence to check whether your resume is qualified enough, common resume-mistakes-free, and gives you detailed feedback in a moment! Run your check and see if you match criteria such as:
- Resume length
- Style & Formatting
- Grammar mistakes
- Proper resume sections
- Objectives and motivation
- Correct verbs and pronouns
Build and design your resume with professional templates
When it comes to your resume’s design, less is more. Not only do complex resume designs or unusual formats confuse most applicant tracking systems, but they also annoy recruiters who are accustomed to quickly scanning a resume for specific information they expect to find in particular areas within the document. There’s two online tools I recommend for building and optimizing your resume to conform to recruiters’ requirements.
CEEV.io Resume Builder with Templates
Resume.io Builder with Templates
So, after years of applying for jobs and getting rejected time after time, I finally learned an all-important lesson. It pays to do your research! Not everything is at it seems on the outside looking in. There are deliberate systems that have been put into place to filter out the so-called losers from winners. The majority of recruiters scan through a resume in only 8 seconds once it reaches their desk and don’t really care about you as an individual.
It’s all about how your employment can maximize their profits. In the long-run, you would be better off taking the power back and starting your own business. if you’re already making strides to accomplish this lofty goal, I applaud your resilient efforts! Just remember: persistence is the key to success in any endeavor. And in the meantime, if you can’t beat them; join them. Best of luck in your continued job search!