In today's competitive job market, hiring managers receive around 435 resumes for each job opening. Taking the time to review every resume can cause delays in hiring and lead to operational losses. To filter through the resumes they receive and find qualified candidates, employers use software called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Only large and credible resume writing services use ATS so it's important you hire a quality resume company.
Almost all applications submitted through an online form or portal will go into an ATS software. A good resume should use keywords so that the ATS recognizes you as a candidate worth considering.
Professional resume writers can help increase your chances of being hired by crafting a resume from the ground up, keeping the ATS keywords in mind.
But before that, you must know the basic details about ATS keywords, why they are essential, and how you get your resume past the system and into the hands of the recruiter.
What Exactly Are ATS Keywords?
Employers choose keywords for the position when they customize the applicant tracking system, which scans hundreds of resumes in seconds. Once we understand the role resume keywords and ATS play in the hiring process, things will become clearer.
What Are Resume Keywords?
Employers specify ATS keywords in their advertisements as requirements for specific positions. You should consider incorporating them optimally to increase your chances of being noticed by recruiters.
According to the best resume writing services, ATS keywords are words indicating qualifications based on education, skills, experiences, industry, and job position.
What Is An Applicant Tracking System?
In simple terms, an applicant tracking system (ATS) is a type of software that companies and recruiters use to gather, process, scan, and allot rankings to job applications they receive for vacant positions.
About 99 percent of Fortune 500 businesses now use ATS software to efficiently automate their recruiting process. The system was originally designed to be a recruitment tool for large companies but has since become a common tool for organizations of all sizes.
How Does The ATS Review Your Resume?
Keywords related to an advertised job are searched by the ATS algorithm. This algorithm also scans your education and experience to determine your fit for the job.
Normally, if the program determines that you are a good match for the post, you get a high ranking. Recruiters are more likely to notice you when the system ranks you higher, which will eventually lead to an interview.
A Guide To Using ATS Keywords On Your Resume
The applications you send out face a lot of competition, so make your resume ATS scan-ready to have the best chance of getting noticed by a prospective employer. Here are a few tips on how to use ATS keywords optimally on your resume:
1. Use The Correct Role-Specific & Industry Keywords
Identify the specific keywords for the position.
Mention the company's name and precise job title. Include relevant certifications, licenses, and education details.
Reputable professional resume services can assist you with adding industry-specific keywords that aren't mentioned in the job description. By including such terms, you may help yourself stand out as an expert in your field.
2. Take Care Of The Locations Of The Keywords
You now need to determine where to include the ATS keywords. Keyword optimization is crucial. Education, experience, and skills are the most important locations for such insertions.
If the job listing includes a description of duties and responsibilities, include those keywords in the experience section of your resume. The final step is to ensure that your skills section contains both hard and soft skills relevant to the position.
3. Select The ATS-Friendly File Type
Although PDFs are the most efficient way to maintain your resume's format, they are not always compatible with ATS. Consider submitting a DOC, DOCX, or plain text file instead of a PDF if the advertisement specifies PDF as unacceptable.
4. Label The Sections Of Your Resume
Add headings, subheadings along with bullet points wherever relevant in the document. Specify which section brings into detail what information regarding yourself. Also, no section should be crammed with keywords. This negatively affects your resume in the ATS scan and you might end up getting a lower rank.
5. Keep It Simple And Classy - Avoid Going Overboard
A free-flowing resume is vital. Recruiters appreciate simple resume designs and formats because they are accustomed to quickly scanning documents for specific information in specific areas. However, complex resume designs or unusual formats can confuse most ATS programs as well as annoy recruiters.
Avoid images, charts, and other graphics. Only mention information relevant to the open position and stick to simple bullet points when describing your skills and accomplishments.
6. Spelling And Grammatical Checks Are Essential
Typos and grammatical errors will hamper your chances of getting hired. Your resume will be automatically rejected for these flaws. Even a single error on a resume will lead recruiters to dismiss it, according to surveys.
Microsoft Word's spell check doesn't catch all your spelling and grammar errors. If possible, have a friend or professional resume services review your job application.
7. Take Care Of The Requirements & Qualifications For The Post
Make sure you read the job description first. In the education requirements, qualifications, and responsibilities sections, you will find most of the ATS keyword hints you need. A recruiter will likely enter the same keywords into the program. You should, therefore, use keywords echoed in the job description on your resume.
How To Ensure That Your Resume Is ATS-Friendly?
When trying to get their resume past an ATS, most prefer to get assistance from a resume service in order to improve the likelihood of being hired.
Ultimately, you must remember that you are not writing a resume just for ATS. The main objective is to make sure your job applications end up on the desk of the hiring manager or recruiter for review.
Maintaining readability should always be the goal. Also, the process of reviewing your resume can easily detect a lie in your skills, experience, or education. Therefore, taking the help of professional resume writers safeguards the prospects of getting an interview slot.