Written by: Andrea Raywood
In today’s market, a common frustration amongst job seekers is the application black hole. Where does your resume really go after you hit submit and why aren’t you hearing back?
According to Forbes, only 50% of applications are ever actually seen by employers. Many organizations use talent-management software to screen out resumes. This is the number one reason you may still be waiting to hear back on the status of your application. Here’s are some quick tips that will help you get more attention:
- Make sure your resume contains keywords that employers are looking for.
Take note of the key skills the employer lists within the job description and qualifications. If these are skills you possess and have utilized in past jobs, be sure to incorporate within your resume. Also, make sure to include any key programs, licensees, or certifications that you have knowledge of or have obtained. For some industries, these are essential especially if they are mentioned in the job posting.
- When it comes to your headers on your resume, keep it simple.
The talent management systems are programed to recognize basic headers, so stick to the basics: Summary, Experiences, Skills, and Education.
- Have a friend look over your resume and cover letter to avoid any spelling and grammatical errors.
If your resume makes it through to the employer and contains errors, most will place your resume into the discard pile. Taking a break and reviewing your resume the next day or having a friend look over your resume and cover letter is a great way to help prevent any mistakes.
- Do not use abbrev’s.
Avoid using abbreviations. The talent management systems are not programed to recognize any terms you abbreviate. If you have any key skills or qualifications that contain acronyms, the system will not pick it up and if your resume makes it to the hiring manager, they too may also discard your resume. Remember, your resume should be professional and this could turn employers away.
- Bring it back to basics and keep it professional.
Be sure to simplify the formatting on your resume and keep it to a one-page word document. You have 30 seconds or less to make a first impression to the hiring manager. Use basic fonts like Times New Roman, Georgia, and Arial to ensure your text is recognized by the systems and avoid using images. Also, these systems may not pick up text if your resume contains tables, chart, boarders, and other advanced formatting. Another common mistake is using an email that is not professional, so be sure you have or create a professional email address for your job search.
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