Okay, we admit the headline makes this piece sound a bit boring but fret not! The online applicant tracking system is the database recruiters use to scour hundreds upon hundreds of resumes to find a gold mine. As in, yours.
As such, you need to make your resume not only user-friendly for potential interviewers and fit into one or two pages, yada yada, but it also needs to be database-ready for the system to pick up key words.
As per a piece in The Wall Street Journal, there are several pointers to consider…
1. Contact information. Think you need to include your snail mail address on your resume? Think again. Beth Brown, author of Damn Good Resume Guide, recommends simply putting your city and state instead of the entire address. What you really need to include is your email address and cell phone number. Besides, when you complete an online profile to apply online through a company’s site, usually you’ll enter the home address anyway.
And if you want to look completely cutting edge, in the contact information section you can include a QR code to direct recruiters to a site with an online profile, video resume, and more.
2. Objective. Here’s are opinion on it: So not necessary. Next pointer…
3. Links to your portfolio. Aside form a QR code, you can and should include links to your online profile whether it’s a demo reel for reporters, clips to articles for writers/editors, or samples for graphic designers.
4. Work experience/skills. This is your time to shine. Of course, you already know to include action verbs of your skills and experience but this is where the keywords come into play for the ATS. Match your resume to the job description. For instance, if the job requisition requires three years of SEO work, include SEO on your resume rather than writing it out (plus, writing out Search Engine Optimization looks kind of antiquated anyway).
And include a variety of options. For instance, if you’re a jack-of-all trades, in one spot include the word “copywriter,” and in another section include “editor” and another one, “blogger.”
The same works for technology — even though you may be proficient in WordPress and Drupal, don’t assume the recruiter will guess. Include the systems that you’re familiar with because the recruiter may also conduct specific resume searches by skill set and/or technology.