How to Optimize Your Resume to Get Ranked Higher by Other ATS?

Ankur Tandon is a marketeer by Skill, Passion & Profession. Leads the team on content marketing & works like a lead catalyst in Marketing function. #GrowthHacking

It may come to you as a surprise but do you realize that an inadequately created resume can wind up making you lose a splendid job opportunity in your dream organization? Most large-sized organizations devise a specific Applicant Tracking Software(ATS) that grabs the relevant data from every resume and stores it into the system to fetch and sort out the incoming resumes. ATSs parse candidate’s information on the basis of specific parameters which makes it highly imperative for the candidates’  to craft professional resumes with the right blend of keywords. When a job vacancy arrives, system explores the entire database with the keywords mentioned in the job description and lists only those resumes matching the required keywords.

How to Optimize Your Resume to Get Ranked Higher by Other ATS?
How to Optimize Your Resume to Get Ranked Higher by Other ATS?

It is observed that approx. 75% of job seekers lose the chances of getting an interview as soon as they drop their resumes to a company website. It happens because their resumes are not optimized as per the ATS, even if they are qualified for the position. No applicant tracking system will identify or rank your resume, if it is missing the right keywords and phrases.

Incorporate the following do’s and don’ts, next time you are submitting your resume and ensure enhanced chances of getting more visibility on the organization’s Applicant Tracking System:

  1. Submit a Lengthier Resume: ATS doesn’t differentiate resumes on the basis of number of pages. Even a shorter resume can rank higher during the scanning process if it contains the right set of keywords and phrases. However, you can insert more relevant phrases, keywords and experience in a longer resume than its shorter counterpart. Hence, higher the chances of getting noticed and ranking better.
  2. Never Submit Your Resume in PDF Format: The reason being, most ATSs are designed to parse word docs. and lack a standard way to read PDF documents. Hence, the resumes submitted in PDF formats stand a higher chance of being misread and lose crucial information during the screening process.
  3. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Regular Keywords: Sometimes, candidates get overzealous while trying to make their resumes unique and use uncommon words to describe their abilities e.g. calling “Work Experience” as “Professional Experience”, “Career Achievements” etc. This strategy may help their resumes stand out while submitting it manually or by mail to the recruiters but when it comes to an ATS, it might backfire, making applicant tracking systems completely miss it out just because work experience is labeled as something else. We suggest not to do that. ATSs are computer programs and recognize only those words which they are taught to read. While using different words and phrases here and there may not hurt but keep main headings as traditional as possible.
  4. Including Graphics and Tables: Once again, applicant tracking systems aren’t designed to interpret graphics or read tables. So, including any such thing in your document might make an ATS misread it or miss it altogether. As unlike a person who will read a table left to right, an ATS will read it up and down.
  5. Starting Your Work Experience With Dates: To ensure ATS parse and import your work experience validly, start it with company name, followed by designation held and dates till when you held that title. Applicant tracking systems look out for company names first while going through your resume and hence, it is advised to never start work experience with dates for the positions you held.
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As long as recruiters will use ATSs to sort candidate resumes, the candidate’s only hope to successfully pass through them and rank higher lies in understanding their working mechanism. Apply the above-mentioned tips, the next time you are going to submit your resume to stand out from the crowd and get noticed by any ATS or recruiter.

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