Your resume matters: 3 Pro-tips to make your resume stand out!

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There has never been a better moment to look for a new job than now. According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job vacancies and pay have increased in recent months, following a pandemic-induced shock to the US economy and near-record highs in unemployment.

Even still, one roadblock stands in the way of many hopefuls finding their dream job: application tracking systems (or ATS). According to research conducted by resume writing firm TopResume, 43% of job seekers have submitted resumes that are incompatible with ATS software.

According to a major job survey, nearly 99 per cent of Fortune 500 organisations utilise applicant tracking systems to scan resumes and streamline the recruiting process, and smaller businesses are following suit.

Stacey Perkins, a career coach, says,”…everyone uses some form of the application monitoring system. It’s vital to understand how to operate with these systems.”

These simple changes to your CV can help you fight the bots:

1. Keep a simple format

“If you don’t submit your resume in the proper manner, it will go into oblivion,” warns Perkins. She says that applicant tracking systems scan resumes from left to right. As a result, if an applicant produces a resume with vertical columns, half of the material may be overlooked. Stick to a standard format with horizontal headings and bullet points, according to Perkins.

Always double-check the format of your resume file. The majority of web programmes state which file types they accept (e.g., PDF, DOC, HTML). If you’re unsure, Perkins recommends submitting your resume as a Microsoft Word document, which practically all resume scanning tools will identify.

Finally, avoid using acronyms on your resume because certain computers will not recognise the letters. Instead, Perkins recommends that job hopefuls spell out words and keep technical jargon to a minimum.

2. Include keywords

Nagaraj Nadendla, Oracle’s senior vice president of product development, contributes to the creation of some of the world’s most commonly used applicant tracking systems and talent acquisition software.

3. Ask for help

Hiring managers frequently tell him that their systems are inundated with resumes that barely match the job description, so read the job advertisement carefully and modify your CV properly to stand out.

If all else fails, send a direct email to the recruiting manager or the company’s HR department instead of relying on the bots.

Find out who makes the decisions and send your CV along with a quick message stating that you’re sending it in the proper format. That simple move could be the difference between you getting the job and someone else.

Perkins responds, “You might be the best prospect out there.” “However, if you submit a resume in a bizarre or improper format, your application will go unnoticed.”

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