ATS reviews each resume, parses it and extracts information so it can assign a value to your content based on keywords you used (typically a score of 0-100%) that match the needs and requirements of the job description. It seems as if you need to put an action hero mask on, crack your knuckles and hope for the best as you engage this process head-on. Sadly, most of us don't make it through. But what if you knew how to smuggle your resume through to be evaluated by a human hiring agent?
A recent study by Preptel shows that three-fourths of all resumes never even get seen by human eyes. Because yours could be ranked so low, it is forever lost in a digital wasteland. The good news is this learning path can help! You can learn how to give the bots what they want while getting what you want.
From the cover letter to the resume, the end goal is to be seen and hopefully heard. You have to tell your new employer why you are the perfect fit and the best way to do this is to show how you compare to their job description. You need to use keywords and phrases to capture their attention. In addition to that, in order to get past their bots, you need to consider the following: your font, heading, format, style, word choice, organization, word choice and errors (or lack thereof).
It is essential that you include verb phrases and skills written in the job description since they will most likely be the exact ones the ATS bot is searching for. If your resume does not have a 'skills' section you may consider including it instead of an 'objectives' section. In order to get an extra leg up in beating the system, you can also try services like Wordle and TagCrowd to help you figure out your keywords, you can use a keywords list or review similar job titles on Linkedin and utilize the same words listed.
Format matters! Many resumes are being lost because some ATS bots are looking for a word document. Also, the font you choose and how your headers are formatted matter. Even how you list your contact information can be a defining issue since they are scanning for specific information.