Online Job Applications: What Really Happens to Your Resume – and How to Game the System
Ever wonder why you were never contacted about that job you were such a great fit for? Here’s the likely culprit: These days, everyone uses an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) — job boards, recruiters, companies. To get your resume noticed, you must understand how these programs work. What’s more: One resume no longer suffices these days. Here’s a quick breakdown of the process so you can understand how to optimize your chances of getting picked up via online job applications:
- You see an ad and think: “This is perfect for me.” So you immediately hit “apply here.”
- Your resume is received, along with hundreds of others.
- Your resume is run through a program called a PARSER. This program removes styling and breaks down your text into recognized strings of characters for further processing.
- The PARSER re-assigns your resume content to fit the the ATS. Your education, contact info, experience, etc. is entered into the system so it can be searched.
- The recruiter uses predetermined keywords to search the ATS for fitting candidates. ( NOTE: These keywords are usually found in the ad.)
- Your resume is scored for relevancy. Relevancy is based on the correlating matches between your resume and the job description’s keywords.
If you score high, you are likely to get THE CALL. Resumes that are not optimized for ATS do not make the cut. So what is your takeaway? Simple: Every resume you apply for must contain the specific keywords that the hiring company used in the job ad or description. That means you need to rewrite and tailor your resume for EVERY online application.