Resumes aren’t read by humans. Here’s how to get past the bots

Without following these resume tricks, your application may never even be seriously considered because bots read them. This means your resume may never even make it to a human reader if you aren’t careful.

Only nine Fortune 500 companies don’t use bots or an Applicant Tracking System to review resumes before passing them on. In other words, if your resume doesn’t pass the ATS, your resume may never get read by a human.

So how do you make sure your resume makes the grade? Read on to learn more.

Stick to word docs

No matter what programs you normally use, send your resume in a universally accepted format, such as a Word doc. 

Don’t just assume the employer will accept a Word doc, though, read the ad. They usually specify which formats they can accept or prefer. If your resume is in a format their ATS can’t read, it will get kicked out without ever getting read.

Use common words

Although you want your resume to be eye-catching and stand out, the ATS will toss it if it’s too different. 

Rather than using big words or changing normal subtitles around, such as Work History, Qualifications, or Education History, stick to the standards.

This doesn’t mean your resume should be boring (it shouldn’t), but getting it past the bots is the first battle.

Use keywords

Read through a job ad carefully and use the same keywords they use in the ad. The ATS will look for these words, and resumes that don’t include them get passed over.

Besides using the keywords the employer uses, make sure your resume highlights the skills and experience you have related to the keywords they stated. The more relevant your resume is to the ad, the more likely it is to get past the bots.

Keep the format simple

Again, standing out is essential, but not with all the bells and whistles that make an ATS kick your resume out of the system.

Keep your format standard. If you aren’t sure what a standard resume format is, Google it, and you’ll find plenty of templates. In short, don’t use images, charts, or tables. Only use basic fonts and words, keeping the photos and logos for other materials, not your resume.

Make it appealing

Just because bots read your resume first doesn’t mean you should make it boring. If your resume makes it past the bots, eventually, a human will read it. Make your content captivating, so they want to learn more about you.

This is where the use of keywords and the relevant experience becomes helpful. If you don’t show the humans reading your resume that you’re qualified, they’ll toss your resume and reach for the next one that made it through the ATS.

If you want to get your resume past the bots, you have to create the perfect balance between a ‘simple and efficient’ resume and one that speaks to human readers.

Using keywords, maintaining a simple format, and highlighting your skills and experience are the best ways to get your resume to the top of the pile of the hundreds and sometimes thousands of resumes employers receive today.