You have a good educational background, solid experiences and an accelerated career plan. Your resume is compelling, but you don’t hear back from companies where you have applied for open positions. What’s wrong? The simple answer may be that your resume isn’t getting through to a human being for consideration, but rather a robot is tossing your resume into the trash. The robot’s name is CATS: Computer Applicant Tracking Software.
So who, or what, is CATS? Let me explain:
Since the economic slowdown of the past 20 years, more and more people are applying to more and more open jobs. Many of these people are not remotely qualified.
With the advent of the Internet and huge job boards, hundreds of thousands of people may be applying to tens of thousands of jobs, remotely.
Companies are swamped with applicants, but are only looking for one talented person that is qualified and fit their requirements
So they write a software program that screens all of these resumes, not to scan qualified people IN, but to quickly eliminate unqualified candidates to scan them OUT.
How do they do that? By using an algorithm of key words that describes the education, experiences and level of the position they are looking to fill, then compare those key words with the words you are using in your resume.
The more key words that are repeated on your resume that parallels the key words on the algorithm, the greater your chances of being screened IN after everyone else is screened OUT.
It’s a process of elimination. Your job is to figure out how NOT to be eliminated by CATS.
Don’t… be overly clever with symbols, unusual font, artistic license or underlining. Some systems will recognize them but most will not. The usual symbols are OK.
Don’t… use inserted graphics, shading, shapes or color that won’t be understood by the computer in their memory banks. It may look good to you, but unintelligible to CATS.
Don’t … use footnotes or headers beyond your usual name, address, telephone number and email connection. Computers are only as smart as their programming.
Don’t… use abbreviations that are outside of the position description of the open job. Spell out the association, college, company name and others that are important to you.
Do… use keywords in your resume that parallel the key words in the job description. The number of times a key word is used gives you an extra credit.
Do… use fonts that are compatible with fonts that are used on the web. They are the most recognizable to the computer: Arial, Calibri, and Verdana.
Do… use section headings that are commonly used in resumes: Education, Employment, Experiences, Training, Certifications, Expertise, Technology, Awards, and Languages.
When interacting with a computer, you need to make it simple and speak their language. Save the more sophisticated interaction for the humans.
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