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If you have applied for jobs in the past and heard nothing from the employer or you simply received a generic looking email response that made it clear that you did not match the criteria, then the chances are, your CV went through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
An ATS is designed to streamline the recruitment process as they automatically scan your CV. They then pick out vital information and match that up against the job criteria. So, if you want to make sure your CV survives an Applicant Tracking System and makes it through to the recruiter, you need to make sure it's tailored to suit this increasingly popular recruitment process. These tips should help, but if it seems a bit daunting, or you just want to be 100% positive you're CV is perfect, there are CV writing professionals that can help.
If you want to get past the ATS, then you will need to make sure that your CV is correct in every way.
The Right Layout
The layout of your CV counts for a lot and so, if you can avoid graphics and text boxes then this can help it to get through the system. Including these can sometimes mean that they move around the page and that can cause the system to become confused. So, make sure your document is correctly aligned and justified, avoid columns and opt for a table instead of a text box.
Create a Key Skills Section
Every job description will contain a set number of key skills that you need to possess. Therefore, to give your CV the best chance of passing through the system, you should make your key skills stand out. It could be worth creating a key skill section towards the top of the CV and then include your skills there.
Simplify Your Headings
The trick is to keep headings as simple and as standardised as possible. An ATS will scan your CV for relevant keywords and the headings. Therefore, you should stick to simple heading such as Work Experience, Employment History and Professional Experience. You should also avoid adding in any new headings as this can often make it hard for the system to categorise the information that sits underneath them. Keeping it simple is the best approach to take here.
Tailor it to the Specific Industry
Every industry will have specific word and qualifications linked to them. Often, these keywords relate to the skills that are essential to the role. Therefore, by including these relevant words in your CV will ensure that the ATS picks them up and links them to the specific industry, helping your CV to pass.
Don’t go over the top with your choice of words but consider your wording. Utilise the job description as that will often contain some of the specific industry words that you require.
Make your Personal Details Clear
The important thing is to make sure that your personal details are clear and concise. Creating a specific section at the top of your CV can help the system to pick it up. As a CV contains references, there is every chance that the system could mistake those details as your own, which means that you could miss out on opportunities. So make your personal details simple to identify.
Taking a clear and concise approach to creating your CV will help you to get through the ATS system and in front of a potential employer. Then you really are within a chance of landing that dream job.