By Lisa Osiako
Have you ever wondered why you do not receive any interview invites after sending your job applications? Well, the answer could be that your CV has not even gotten to the eyes of the recruitment manager.
With more and more organizations using Application Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter high volumes of applications, your CV needs to stand out among thousands. What the system does is it creates a shortlists from the applications received. If it doesn’t understand your CV therefore, it will not select it and consequently, the recruiter will not see it.
Here are six easy steps to enable you to speak the ATS language and ultimately avoid rejection:
1. Conduct Keyword Research
The keywords you use can make or break your job search process. Keywords are the skills and qualifications in the job description that should be included in a CV. Recruiters use these words to identify candidates who match the desired skills and qualifications of the specific job. It is these same keywords that the ATS looks for in your CV.
Go through the job description and note down the keywords used. Focus on the role you are applying for and the industry you want to work for. If in doubt of the keywords that may apply, contact a CV writing professional to help you out.
QUICK READ >>> Should I Really Have My CV written By A Professional?
2. Keep Titles Simple
By over-customizing your CV titles, you make it more difficult for Applicant Tracking Systems to analyze your resume. ATS are typically unable to recognize nonstandard headings, and as a result, they’re unable to sort the content appropriately in their databases.
Therefore, use standard and simple job titles in your keywords. Doing this will ensure that you are capturing the most important keywords, as it also aligns you in the mind of a human reader.
Focus on including the essential titles –Work Experience, Education, Qualifications, and Key Skills.
3. Include Relevant Skills and Experiences
In a competitive job market, you need a proven, measurable background of success to impress potential employers. As recruiters search for keywords, they are also looking for concrete skills. Make yours stand out by using those most relevant to the job.
It is the specific and highly relevant achievements where you have used your talents to give an employer measurable benefits, that will get you noticed.
In noting down your achievements, customize them for that specific role you are applying for.
4. Tailor Your Qualifications
Tailor your qualifications in such a way that they apply to the qualifications stated in the position you are applying for.
As you write them down, ensure that they are written in both full-length and acronym format. For example, if it is the role of Personal Assistant, have ‘PA’ in brackets. This will ensure that your CV covers all types of keyword searches.
5. Check Your CV Formatting
ATS has rejected CVs based on how they were formatted. There are three main resume formats: chronological, functional and hybrid.
Ensure your CV is formatted to the most acceptable format as this will increase your chances of getting through the system.
Also, some algorithms such as photos, symbols and tables, are not identified by ATS. So get rid of them, unless it is an application requirement.
Focus on facts, and keep your CV clear and concise.
READ ALSO >>> The Do’s Of Drafting A CV That Will Get You Interviews
6. Be Consistent
Ensure the keywords you settle for on are the same ones you have on your LinkedIn account. This will ensure that your job search bears more fruit as you will be easily visible to potential employers and recruiters.
It also signals consistency and attention to detail.
Ensuring your CV goes through the ATS is the first step in finding a job. Even as you think of it, let your CV not lose its value because, in the end, it is going to be read by someone.
You should also seek the help of a professional CV writer, in order to know what keywords are needed and eventually boost your chances of getting a job.