(The following comes fro ZipRecruiter.com and Courier-Post on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021)
Here’s a stat you may not know: More than 75% of resumes submitted online are read by a robot before they are ever seen by a human. IF they are ever seen by a human.
That’s because most employers use Applicant Tracking Systems, a type of artificial intelligence that parses resumes to find what they consider to be the most qualified candidates.
At ZipRecruiter, we use that technology, so we know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to creating a resume that can get your application past these robots and into the hands of a human recruiter.
- Use a plain, boring template
Conventional wisdom may say that your resume should be eye-catching and exciting, but the truth is that robots aren’t big design fans.
They read from left to right, top to bottom, and only know how to read certain fonts and formats. So use the most boring, straightforward template you can find. Leave out columns, tables, headers, footers, text boxes, logos and nonstandard fonts. Use a “minimalist ATS-friendly” template rather than a designed one to make sure it can be read.
- Use generic job titles
Many companies get cute with their internal job titles: sandwich artists, teammates, crewmembers. Robots aren’t really interested in cute. But they do love a perfect match, which is why you should write your past job titles on your resume using generic terms that everyone understands. A good way to do this is by going to a job site and finding job descriptions that match your current role. Of course, be careful not to inflate or change your role into something that’s not representative of your work.
- Write like a caveman
Be succinct about the work you did. The resume parsers will pull applicable snippets of your resume to pass on to recruiters, so you want those pieces to be simple and easy to follow.
Instead of writing something like “Answered, transferred, conferenced and forwarded audio communications for over 24 incoming and outgoing exchanges,” simply say “Answered and redirected company’s 25 phone lines.”
- Use numbers
Rather than just listing the tasks you performed, use numbers to capture the scale of your accomplishments. It goes a long way in showing that you’re a results-orientated employee who can deliver.
- List your skills
Make sure you include your skills and any training or certifications you’ve received. And be as specific as possible. At this point, everyone has experience with Microsoft Office. But if you give examples of the experience you have, such as “Microsoft Excel revenue model building,” that will go a lot farther in making you stand out. It can also be helpful to list the number of years of experience you have with each of your skills.