Beat Resume Scanners

Computers reject 2,000,000 resumes in less than a second.

Make sure your resume is not rejected

How to get your resume seen online could be a book.  That book hasn’t changed in the last 5 years.  Here are the basics:

  1. Include every keyword that is in the job listing
  2. Figure out a way to repeat the most important keywords
  3. Resubmit your changed resume occasionally

 Keywords are critical

Computerized filters are being used more often as they improve.  Every platform has them available for all employers.  If your resume does not have every important keyword or acronym, the computer eats it and spits out a form letter saying, “Thank you for your time”. No human sees your resume.

Put a list of certifications, education, software used, tools mastered, and techniques employed at the end of the resume.  Include every abbreviation or keyword in the ad.  If you are missing a minor keyword, consider saying at the end of your resume, “I understand CDF and JCL but have never used them.”  It may get you past the computer filter.  If you are submitting your resume directly to the hiring manager, you might take the list off.

 Repeat important keywords

Your resume will be ranked by keyword usage.  When my query brings back 300 hits, I want to see the most likely resumes first.  I sort on “relevance” and cherry pick the top resumes.  The best way to be ranked highly is to intelligently use the keywords multiple times.

 Resubmit your resume

Job boards usually show the most recently submitted resumes first.  If your resume has not been submitted for 3 months, it is at the bottom.  Worse, recruiters may assume you have a job if your resume is that old.  They won’t call you.

Just these three changes may change your invisible resume to a real interview magnet.

Did you make it this far? If so, re-read this article and only look
at the bold words. This is what your resume looks like to a computer.
To a computer, you want the most keywords.

 That’s a lot of keywords!  As I mentioned above, use lists. Lists and summaries are the easiest way to reuse keywords without looking repetitive to a real person once it makes it past the computer.

On a job description, keywords may be listed as skills, proficiencies, aptitudes, or something else.  Periodically, you’ll see an awful job description that’s exclusively in brick sized paragraphs. Try and pick out the most important words. What skills, abilities, and personality features are they looking for?

Then rewrite your resume for each job you REALLY want!

Write each keyword down before writing your resume. Your resume should be personalized for the job you’re applying to.

Something To Do Today

Go read the job description of the last job you submitted your resume for.  Did your resume have all the keywords?  Did it repeat the most important keywords?

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