There are some companies that everyone wants to work for. The Facebooks and Googles of the world are bombarded with CVs on a daily basis, regardless of whether there are job openings or not.
With so many applications to filter through some of these companies have essentially outsourced the first stage of the recruitment process to robots, benignly named the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
Problem is while the ATS is good at cutting down your list some of them are not the best at finding the most suitable applicant.
Fortunately CV Dynamix founder Sue Parker has a few tips for how to make sure your resume makes the cut.
- Keywords are the key. The ATS will hunt them down and select CVs that contain the ones it likes. Make sure that keywords such as the job title and any skills or knowledge requested in the job ad appears on the first page of your CV and cover letter.
- Your CV will be scanned so it must be plain and readable, that means no graphics, boxes, tables etc.
- No company logos.
- The CV should be in Word format or PDF no RTF etc.
- The CV must be well-spaced out.
- Don't forget to include your city and state. As innocuous as it seems some ATS programs will reject a CV if a state isn't included.
- Use clear structured section headlines. This is not the part of the CV to show off your creativity.
- If you are applying for a job in a sector you have not previously worked in then try and cull some industry specific jargon.
- No headers and footers other than a page number.
- Despite its artificial nature the ATS also has its own fonts of choice. It likes Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, or Calibri. And it also prefers a minimum font size of 10.5 or 11. No fancy fonts. You can, however, use large fonts and they can even be a different colour to headlines.