TAO Self-help

Title:Tips for Getting Your Resume Past an ATS System

Author:Barbara Adams, CPRW, CEIP, MFRW, MMRW, MFCA-T

Date:June 2015

Source:www.militaryresumewriters.com and www.careerproplus.com

Getting to a human in the face of heartless robot or Automatic Tracking Systems (ATS) resume readers, the natural human inclination is to short circuit the system. Unfortunately this is easier said than done. It's an obvious conclusion that there are flaws in the ATS process, but more difficult to determine which exact flaws you may be dealing with when you click the "Apply" button. There are multiple generations and versions of ATS in use, each with their own idiosyncrasies. What is acceptable to one ATS may cause the next robot reader to crash and burn. That said, there are several strategies that are generally considered to reduce the chances that your resume will disintegrate into digital limbo:

— Use clear, descriptive headings — Education, Work Experience, Skills

— Avoid complex formatting — no boxes, shading, tables, or graphics. Stick to standard fonts.

— List dates last — Employer Name, Job Title, then the dates.

— Use simple file formats — .rtf or .doc are usually acceptable. PDF files can crash some systems.

A word about keywords. Packing a resume with keywords or hiding them in white text may sound like obvious hacks, but remember that a human decision-maker will see the resume if it passes ATS muster. You can't write for the robots. The challenge is to produce a document that can be analyzed by the ATS without being sucked into the black hole and emerges reasonably intact from the process. This means that your document must be both machine and human readable. It should be keyword rich and in a format that is less likely to be scrambled or misread by the automated tracking system, but also coherent and organized to allow an HR professional to quickly understand how your skills, experience and accomplishments fit the position for which you are applying. No problem, right? - See more at: careerproplus.com/blog/robots-are-reading-your-resume

Barbara Adams, President and CEO of CareerPro Global (CPG), the parent company of www.careerproplus.com and www.militaryresumewriters.com, has been a member of the careers community for the past 20 years. Ms. Adams holds four prestigious industry certifications. CareerPro Global is the only ISO 9001-2008 Certified Career Service in the industry, as well as one of the fastest-growing Military, Federal, and Civilian Resume-Writing and Careers-Coaching companies. The team of Certified Professional Federal and Military Resume Writers at CPG assist thousands of clients in applying for and gaining employment each year. We can help you land your military to civilian job.

Featured Employers - view all