But have hope. There are things you can do to increase the chances of getting your résumé through employers’ applicant screening systems, say experts Josh Bersin, CEO of human-resources consulting firm Bersin & Associates and Rusty Rueff, career and workplace expert at Glassdoor.
Below, five tips to up your odds:
- 1. Forget about being creative. Instead, mimic the keywords in the job description as closely as possible. If you’re applying to be a sales manager, make sure your résumé includes the words “sales” and “manage” (assuming you’ve done both!).
- 2. Visit the prospective employer’s website to get a sense of the corporate culture. Do they use certain words to describe their values? If a firm has a professed interest in environmental sustainability, include relevant volunteer work or memberships on your résumé. The company may have programmed related keywords into its resume screening software.
- 3. Keep the formatting on your résumé simple and streamlined—you don’t want to perplex the software. With a past position, the system “sometimes gets confused about which is the company, which is the position, and which are the dates you worked there,” especially if they’re all on a single line, says Mr. Bersin. To make sure you hit all the categories, put them on separate lines. And “don’t get cute with graphics and layout,” says Mr. Rueff.
- 4. Some screening systems assign higher scores to elite schools. You may not have gotten your B.A. from a top-tier university, but if you attended a continuing-education class at one, include such qualifications on your résumé.
- 5. But don’t ever lie or exaggerate just to get through the screening process. Recruiters and ATSs are savvy about tricks jobseekers use (such as typing false qualifications in white font). “You don’t want to get through the black hole and find out it’s a worse hole you got yourself into,” Mr. Rueff says
This article “how to beat the black hole” by the WSJ was super informative. a lot of companies have computers that pull your resume and scan for keywords and other info to select you go to the next round. I know what you’re thinking, your whole life you’ve been told to make your resume stand out. We’ll crazy formatting, and made up words to describe your last position might not be the best way to get there. last spring I visited an oil company in the Houston area and spoke with the hiring manager. She informed us that no one is spending hours reading resumes by hand. She spends less than 60 seconds on a resume to find out if they’re in or out.
Here are her top 3 applicant killers:
1. Bad formatting
- Your resume should not look like connect the dots.
- Make everything line up correctly.
- Your resume shouldn’t be wild colors, or have a photo on it.
2. Lack of contact info
- You would be surprised how many people actually leave off how to contact them. They might put their name and forget everything else.
- Self explanatory.
Here’s what I suggest. You might want to have separate resumes. One that you would hand out in person and one to submit online. For example the gentlemen below has a killer resume even online it stands strong. This would be great to hand out at a job fair, or after to get the interview in person, however it might confuse this computer with the qr code.
There are lots of ways you can use these tips and still stand out for example check out “Hire-matt.com” and click on his resume tab.
The original article can be found here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204624204577178941034941330.html