How to Keyword Optimize Your Resume For Better Tracking with Applicant Tracking Systems

These days, all that you need to do to when applying for job is fill out a job application, make sure that your resume is updated and then click ‘submit’. Within just days or weeks of passing your application and resume, you will then get a response either by phone call or email from your future employer. It’s as easy and simple as that, well in theory.

You see, although the whole process should be that easy there is one important thing you need to know about the current way of hiring applicants. It is not known to many job applicants but your resume are not actually seen by real, human eyes but instead by applicant tracking system (ATS) many employers make use of.

This program is used to parse all the information included in your resume and then give a score to your resume as based on the job that the employer is looking. With that score, the system will then sort and rank which applicants are potential candidates for the job.

With that being the case, it seems like you need to learn a few tricks in order to beat the system for your application to get included as one of potential candidates. On that note, here is how you can keyword-optimize your resume:

1.     Use a set of words or keywords from the job posting as reference. One way that you can trick the ATS is by using terms that relate to job you are applying to for their presence can determine if you’ll pass or fail. The downside here is that you don’ know the keywords so you’ll be going blind.

2.     The resume is not immune with SEO keyword optimization, what with the ATS programming. In that case, the best way for your resume to definitely get tracked is to mirror the words which are used in the job posting. On that note, it best that you go heavy on the two or three most important keywords and use the different terms of the job posting you are applying. Make sure the density of the keyword is enough and include all search terms.

3.     Load your resume with many abilities and skills related to the job posting. This is true since the ATS is known to look for qualitative indicators. That being the case, the more that you list in your resume, the more that the system will think you are a good candidate based on your resume. Of course, remember that the skills you should write are referenced to the job posting.

The presence of pictures, graphics and over formatting can do more harm than good. It is tempting to use them to make your resume and application stand out, but ATS systems differ from each other and may have difficulty recognizing your application’s content if it is over formatted. Instead, simply use the formatting and fonts that you think will not give system pause to the ATS.

Other important keyword-optimization techniques that you cannot forget include not using special characters, borders or shading. Furthermore, avoid spelling mistakes as the ATS is not likely to miss them. Lastly, always put your contact details at the top of the resume so the system will not miss it.

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