Learn How to Adapt Your Resume for Screening Algorithms

When candidates submit their resumes, there is a strong chance that it will not immediately go to the hiring manager. Instead, an automated screening process is typically the first step. Essentially, a machine reviews your resume’s content, compares it to the position, and decides whether you make it onto the shortlist, all without a person even looking at the document.

As a result, candidates need to adapt their resume for these screening algorithms. Failing to do so could mean getting removed from contention regardless of whether you could excel in the role.

Luckily, making the necessary adjustments isn’t as difficult as it may seem. If you want to adapt your resume for the latest screening algorithms, here are some tips that can help you do just that.

Tailor Your Resume to the Job Ad

Most professionals understand that tailoring their resume to the role is a smart move. It makes you appear like a stronger match, increasing the odds that the hiring manager will be interested in meeting you.

However, when you’re dealing with a screening algorithm, you need to go further. Ideally, you want to align your resume with the verbiage in the job ad. Additionally, you need to make sure that critical keywords – usually the must-have skills included in the vacancy announcement – appear regularly in the content.

At times, the easiest way to accomplish this is to have a skills section below your professional summary. There, you can highlight any skill you possess that’s included on the must-have list. Additionally, reference the top skills more than once. You may want to feature them in your professional summary, as well as your work history.

Keep Your Resume Simple and Chronological

Most text-parsing resume-screening algorithms are designed to review chronological resumes. If you choose to go with a functional resume instead, there’s a strong chance that the system won’t be able to gauge what you bring to the table accurately.

It also works in your favor to have clear, traditional headings. Appropriately label each section, as an algorithm may not assess what kind of content is where if you use an unexpected approach.

The same goes for job titles. While your employer may use a unique set of titles, make sure to translate them into what they are traditionally called. Often, the simplest way is to include your actual job title and then, next to it in parentheses, list the traditional one.

Showcase Your Accomplishments

Many of the newer screening algorithms can examine your resume for certain kinds of context regarding your skills. It can assess how you put various skills to work by reviewing the information surrounding the target keywords.

By using an accomplishments-based approach to showcasing your skills, you’re providing context. As a bonus, you’re also crafting a more engaging narrative, which is beneficial for when your resume ends up in a hiring manager’s hands.

Ultimately, the algorithms are getting more sophisticated, and that is a good thing. In time, as the technology gets more intelligent, it will be able to gauge your capabilities with greater accuracy. However, make sure to use the tips above to increase your odds of being viewed favorably by the screeners.

If you’d like to learn more, the staff at The Squires Group can help. Contact us today.

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