How to Optimize Your Resume & Get it into the Hands of Hiring Managers

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With summer nearly over, you might be thinking about starting up a job search this fall. Before you do, you need to have a strong resume ready to go. To ensure you get called for interviews, it must showcase your strengths and abilities. In today’s world, it also has to be optimized for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

What’s an ATS?

These are simply software systems companies use to scan the hundreds of resumes they receive for every opening. It helps cut down on the time hiring managers have to screen resumes and funnels the best-fit ones to them.

For you, this means if you don’t optimize your resume properly for an ATS, it might not get into the hands of the hiring manager. To avoid this happening, make sure you:

Send the right type of file.

While PDFs will maintain the design style and fonts, ATS software can’t always read them. This could mean you get to cut out of the competition for simply sending the wrong type of document. Instead, play it safe by sending your resume in an MS Word file unless otherwise specified by the employer.

Use the right keywords.

Review the job description and identify keywords and phrases that are important. Then make sure you include them once or twice in your resume. Also, if there are keywords, such as a certification or degree earned, that are important for your job or industry, include those as well. Just don’t overuse them, which can make your resume awkward to read.

Don’t use the header and footer space.

Instead, keep all your content, including your name and contact information, in the body copy of the document. An ATS system doesn’t usually read these areas, so it could cause issues when it’s reviewing your resume.

Format your resume carefully.

Creating a resume can be tricky today because you have to optimize it for humans and for software systems. To do that properly, make sure you create a summary of your strengths at the top, use bullet points and bold fonts to call out job titles and duties, and avoid any graphics or script-like fonts. Keep it simple, well-organized, and easy to read.

Need more tips for crafting an ATS-friendly resume for your job search?

Turn to PrideStaff. We’re one of the leading employment agencies in Phoenix and can help you with all steps of your job search. We can ensure your resume is strong, it gets into the hands of hiring managers, and you find your next great job. Contact us today to get started.