How to Adjust a Resume to the Software

In most industries today, resumes and applications are put through an Applicant tracking system before they are read by anyone in the human resources (HR) department. If the resume does not clear the ATS Software for a particular position, the applicant will probably not be called for an interview. When first introduced, the software was used by large companies and recruiting agencies to save on time. Currently, small businesses are also using this time-saving system.

What is the Software Seeking?

Applicant tracking software is searching the resumes and applications for specific keywords. The more keywords detected, the higher the ranking of the resume just like with search engines do with websites. Candidates have to optimize their chances of an interview by adjusting their resumes to include possible keywords that may be programmed into the ATS software. Keywords are changed to accommodate each position that becomes vacant.

No Keyword Lists

There are no keyword lists available to let applicants know which ones to select. Keywords have to be anticipated based on the job description, the company, and any pertinent information that can be found through research. It has always been recommended that applicants research companies before submitting resumes to get a general idea of what HR professionals might be seeking. That process now has to be more concise.

In addition to researching the company, applicants will want to check out networking sites for current employee profiles. Compare their qualifications to yours and pay attention to the wording used. It is important to note that this type of software only searches for keywords entered. That means there are no allowances for verb tenses, conjugations, or synonyms. If the keywords entered include “staff scheduling”, the software will not register “scheduled staffing” as a match.

Take Out Fillers

Review the resume for any added sentences or experiences that are not relevant to the position for which you are applying. If the format is ideal but the content contains a lot of fluffed up statements, the resume will not pass the software screening. Describing team building seminars attended is not likely to be keyword-rich. On a positive note, the resume will not be discarded if it is not considered. Once a resume is entered into the software, it is stored in a database for future reference.

Adjusting the resume for each position is common practice. There are simply a few more things to consider before submitting it to a company. It is a skill that can be learned, just like learning to write a resume in the first place. Consult a job seekers website or one that offers help with resume writing to build confidence and hone up the content.


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