Are Robots Reviewing My Resume?

Are robots reviewing my resume? Face it; there are on average 300 resume submissions for every job posting. You betcha’ robots are reviewing all of these resumes. What company has the time to read resumes all day? We have all wondered whether human eyes ever get to see our resumes. As job seekers diligently prepare and submit resumes in response to job postings it’s important to understand exactly what happens to your resume once you hit the send button. You know your resume is being delivered, but what you don’t know is whether it makes it to the decision maker. This is where technology takes over.

Every Human Resource Department and Staffing Firm use software technology that scans, reviews and parses resumes before a human gets to touch it. This is how it works.

Young woman, like many unemployed are concerned about job prospects in their communities
Photo courtesy @TheAGAGroup

1. You submit your resume in response to a job posting. It is captured by an Applicant Tracking System [ATS]

Even before a recruiter gets to see your resume it meets the company’s robot software system called the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). There are many ATS vendors and they all work pretty much the same. Now this ATS contains a large database of candidate information that helps streamline the recruiting process for an organization.

Large and small companies are using this software because it is a cost-efficient way to keep all the resumes in one place and manage the entire recruiting process. The ATS adds [parses] your information directly from your resume into a formatted document based on how closely you meet the job posting.

So you ask: How can I get my resume to talk to this robot effectively? Well by now you’ve heard all of the buzz about keywords? Well, the robot software is why you need keywords in your resume. The company has programmed these keywords into the ATS to help them identify the resumes of top candidates. So what should you do?

2. No need to spend money on a professional resume writer. You can easily format your resume. Formatting is just as important as the content

Inside the ATS, recruiters choose and enter the particular skills and qualifications they’re looking for in a given position. You want to match these [must haves] with keywords that are in the job description. You can have all the right qualifications, but if the ATS can’t read your resume then your phone won’t be ringing.

So check out these tips on how to optimize your resume:

  • Use keywords in the body of the text and throughout the entire resume when appropriate. The ATS picks up on context and relevance based on the placement of the keywords. Use the language the company is using. If they’re calling it “online marketing” your resume shouldn’t be calling it “content marketing.”
  • Use easy-to-read standard fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman.
  • Proper punctuation and spelling matter.
  • The universally accepted file format is a .doc extension. This format is the safest bet, as the ATS is sure to recognize your information.

The way you enter your resume is important. Always upload your resume directly into the system instead of typing your information into each field. This way the ATS can automatically populate your information, making it easier on the entire submission process, for you and the ATS.

3. The ATS is used in many ways

With all of the advanced technology available in the ATS, sometimes it’s simply used as a database for keeping track of applicants. Often the “percent match score” is not the final verdict. Good Recruiters and HR Professionals tend to trust their own instincts over a machine’s evaluation.

In the end; what’s important is that you apply for jobs for which you are extremely qualified. Tailor your resume to match the job description based on your experiences. Be sure to read the job description and look at how the company uses keywords. And most importantly we emphasize value proposition statements. Take the time to develop your value proposition statement as this is what will immediately grab the attention of the hiring manager.



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