Do you want to work in a large organization? It comes as no surprise to find large companies dealing with a large number of resumes submitted for just a few positions. You cannot expect an HR executive to read through each one of them. At best, they skim through the resume and make the decision of whether the applicant is worth shortlisting.
However, many resumes sent to these companies end up in the rejection pile even before an HR executive reads them. How does this happen? It is simple- they use an application tracking system (ATS) to pre-filter resumes for the HR department. The system scans resumes for certain key phrases and words with respect to the job opening, scores them for relevance, and forwards only qualified resumes to the HR department.
This automatic filtering system helps sort out generic, underprepared, and otherwise weak resumes. To make sure that your resume does not end up being tagged as one, check out the tips below:
Keep your resume format simple
A uniquely formatted but professionally resume is generally recommended if you want to highlight your creativity to recruiters. However, automatic resume trackers prefer conformity and you have to make sure that your resume is as simple and close to the standard resume format as possible. This means removing symbols, pictures, logos, and other extra touches and sticking to Courier or Arial instead of other fancy fonts. Remove unique section headlines and replace them with the standard ones- qualifications, work experience, education, skills, etc.
Use the right keywords
If you have been working for enough time, you may recognize some buzzwords that are used in your line of work. These words could refer to software, basic skills, responsibilities, or certifications related to your career. There are also certain key words and phrases you can find in the job description for the opening. The ATS will scan your resume for these common industry buzzwords and keywords specific to the company's job description.
To make sure that your resume passes through the system, use these words and phrases in your resume as naturally as possible. The important word to remember here is 'naturally'. Do not stuff your resume with keywords and buzzwords without any context. The ATS may think that your resume is perfect, but the HR executive who reads might differ. Aim for just two or three keywords related to your skills and industry, and no more. Review specific resume samples at sites like ResumeIndex.com and About.com for keyword examples.
Remove the career objective section
This is another section that would valuable in any other situation, but becomes a waste of resume space if it is going through an ATS. Instead of writing a career objective that just points out the obvious (you are hardworking and you want to work and grow in your respective industry), write a qualifications summary. This can be a short, preferably bulleted list filled with keywords for the ATS to identify. It can cover your major skills, experiences, and achievements in one short section. Thus, you get a section that helps you pass the ATS and also makes life a little easier for the HR executive on the other side.