The internet has totally changed the way we look for a new job, and while submitting a digital resume online is convenient, it is a bit of a double-edged sword. Because of such ease, candidates can easily apply to dozens of jobs in a single day.
For employers, this means a single job posting can generate dozens of applications that must be reviewed—and that can be a bear to get through. Plus, with the ease and speed of applying for a job, some jobseekers are merely applying to jobs just to apply, not because they’re a good fit.
Using Job Tracking Apps to Deal with the Application Onslaught
In response to this change in the job market, many hiring managers and recruiters use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to automatically scan every resume submitted for an open position. If you’ve sent in a resume at any point in the past decade or so, it has likely been scanned by an ATS.
The purpose of the ATS is to:
- Scan resumes to weed through the completed job applications
- Discard poor matches
- Identify high-quality submissions that should be forwarded to HR reps to review
The ATS streamlines the hiring process for employers but adds an extra hurdle for jobseekers. Fortunately, getting beyond the ATS is easier than it might seem.
3 Ways to Get Your IT Resume Sent to HR
1. Start with a Good Fit
A big reason why recruiters and hiring managers have turned to ATS systems is many people who apply to jobs are not actually qualified for the position. If you look at the core qualifications for a job, and you’re unsure if you meet them, you’re probably better off moving on to the next job opportunity.
Before you even start the application process for a job, check to see if you’re a good fit for the role. You don’t have to meet every single qualification listed in the job description. In fact, you probably only need to meet the core qualifications. For example, if a company wants to hire a mid-level Java programmer, you should be able to code Java and have at least seven or so years of experience. Anything else is essentially frosting on their java cake.
2. Include Keywords
When an ATS scans a resume, it’s checking for the most important bits of information to determine if you’re suitable for the position. When crafting a resume that passes the ATS scan, ensure your most important qualifications are listed in industry-standard terminology. These are considered your resume “keywords”.
A hiring manager or recruiter looking to find quality resumes will:
- Choose the industry-standard keywords they want the ATS to prioritize
- Include keywords in the position’s description, credentials, or experience level
Examples of good keywords for a tech job are coding languages and platforms needed to do the job.
3. Avoid Flashy Formatting
You’ve likely come across flashy resume templates with a layout and formatting that stand out. Unless your job includes aspects of design, resist the temptation to use these types of templates. In fact, some ATS systems have difficulty with non-standard colors and formats.
Remember this: While an eye-catching resume may impress the human eye, an ATS will probably toss it into the digital trash bin.
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