Updating Your Resume To Beat The "ATS" Software

So, you're in the midst of your job hunt on LinkedIn or Indeed, and there it is – the job opportunity you've been searching for. Here's your chance to apply. But wait a minute, your resume is very outdated. Panic sets in as you wonder, "What are the resume guidelines for 2023, and where do I even begin?"

In your quest for resume rejuvenation, you hit the internet and stumble upon the term "ATS" or "Applicant Tracking System." This is the software that swiftly assesses if you're a suitable fit for a job posting. You nod to yourself, realizing this is the key to crafting your resume. But now, the question lingers: where should you start? Let's delve into these steps below to set you on the right path:

Step 1: Embrace the chronological format. In this format, your most recent job takes the spotlight as it's listed first. It's the format that ATS software prefers, providing a structured showcase of your work history.

Step 2: Keep section names straightforward and precise. Utilize headers like "Work Experience" and "Core Competencies." Avoid elaborate titles such as "Why I'm the Perfect Fit" or "My Outstanding Qualities" – the ATS system won't recognize them.

Step 3: Harness the power of job description keywords. As you peruse the job listing you're eyeing, incorporate those crucial keywords into your resume and job task descriptions. However, be strategic; seamlessly integrate these terms into your content.

For example: On a recent resume I created for a client, the job requirements were “Excellent relationship building and interpersonal skills with the ability to interact comfortably and effectively with internal and external clients” The words and terms I used on their resume and cover letter were:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Effectively communicates with...
  • Relationship building techniques...
  • Work comfortably in every setting

Step 4: Opt for an ATS-friendly template. Ensure that your resume design passes the ATS software's scrutiny. Don't make it needlessly complicated; consider enlisting the help of a professional resume writer like myself to create an impeccable template for you.

Step 5: Stick to a basic font. Clarity is key when it comes to readability. Ditch the ornate fonts and stick with the classics like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial.

Step 6: Save your resume in the right format. The universally accepted format for most systems is PDF. This ensures that your formatting remains intact when the recipient opens it for review. Also, remember to give it a clear and personalized title – avoid generic labels like "Name_resume_2022."

Follow these steps diligently to ensure that your resume doesn't fall victim to the ATS software's rejection. Need more guidance and haven't yet explored my resume writing services? Head over to my website to discover the range of resume services I offer.

Let's work together to prepare you for that coveted job opportunity you've been dreaming of!

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