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Thanks to the internet, applying to jobs has never been easier! Often, you simply upload a resume or complete an application, click submit and wait to hear back. But you may be surprised to find out many hiring managers are never getting your resume even if you are highly qualified for the position. And this is all thanks to a popular technology: applicant tracking systems.

What are Applicant Tracking Systems?

Advertised to businesses as a way to streamline the recruitment process, applicant tracking systems are software solutions that provide multiple capabilities, including the ability to pre-screen candidates. Typically, these systems look for specific pieces of information in the applications, such as keywords related to particular skills or a minimum amount of education.

While the intent is to remove obviously unqualified candidates from contention early, helping save hiring managers time that would be wasted by weeding through resumes that don’t fit the bill, some great applications end up caught in the crossfire. If that happens to yours, your resume will never be seen by anyone involved in the hiring process.

How to Get Your Resume Through

Making it through the initial screening isn’t difficult if you are well-qualified for the position. It does, however, require some time and attention. First, make sure the right keywords are in place on your resume. Often, this can be achieved by using the exact phrasing in the job posting.

For example, when you reference any skills you possess, write them exactly as they appear in the job description, using the same words and word order. If the skill is written out, don’t substitute the acronym even if it is well known.

Second, avoid using graphic elements on any of your initial application information, especially for relevant information like skills, experience and education. Most applicant tracking systems can’t process information held in images or charts or does so poorly. So, even if you had the right information, the wrong format can stop your resume from making it through.

Finally, make sure to apply to specific job openings when they become available. Submitting a resume blindly means your information is placed in the applicant tracking system, but isn’t catered to a particular position. That means, even if the company searches the database for potential candidates, your information won’t display unless you happen to have the right keywords or other information in place in your original document.

Instead, submit a new targeted resume to any position that opens up. That way, you have a better chance of getting beyond the screening process and being reviewed by an actual hiring manager.

If you are submitting resumes and not getting results, consider working with a staffing agency to get your resume seen. That way, you can bypass the applicant tracking system entirely while also getting access to positions that might not be listed online. If you are interested in locating new opportunities, The Squires Group can help you move forward. Contact us to discuss your ideal position today and see how our services can bring you better results.

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