Each year 83% of the candidates that get a new job find that job in one of the following three ways; networking, using a recruiter or contacting the company directly. Given this fact it is critical that you properly format your resume to make it easy for both recruiters and hiring managers to get your information into their Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
Today all major recruiters and corporations are using ATS to evaluate and track candidates. These tracking systems automatically parse (enter the data) directly into their system removing the need for human data input or typing. While it reduces the number of input errors it only works well when your resume is formatted properly to take advantage of this new process.
The following tips will help to make sure that your resume ends up in an ATS and that it will be readable when it gets there.
1. Make sure the file format you use is Word. No rtf’s, no pdf’s, no wps’s no txt. Word is the primary file format that is most easily read by ATS parsing systems.
2. Your resume filename convention should be “firstnameLastnameResume.docx”. Not “bestversion.docx” or “final.docx” or “latestestupdate.docx”.
3. When emailing your resume, make sure your attachments are in the following order; resume first, cover letter second, and references third. Make sure your references are in a separate document and not in your resume.
4. Make sure that your use of bullets is kept to a minimum. Bullets and dashes do not translate well when converted from software to online job boards to ATS parsing systems. The use of the asterisk (*) translates much better than a bullet.
5. Make sure that your email address is clearly placed in your resume and that you do not have any characters other than a space in front of or behind the your email address.
6. Start your resume with your name, address, phone and email information at the top of the page. DO NOT include your vital information in a header or text box.
7. Do not use color or lines in your resume. No blue text, no red text. No dotted lines. No lines to divide sections. They all get converted poorly.
8. Avoid using text boxes and tables in general. Make your resume as easy to read as possible. Remember it is just the key that unlocks the door for the interview not the whole story.
9. Place a “key word” section at the end of your resume that includes all of the words that describe your background and experience. This is also a great place to put all of the companies your have done business with over the years in addition to those where you have worked.
10. Pictures do not import when embedded inside a resume. It is a good idea to include a professional photo with your resume, but add it as a separate file in your email.
If you have additional questions about finding a job in the Web 2.0 world, visit our website at http://www.cubemanagement.com/resources.asp