A job seeker’s worst nightmare is getting that rejection email. There is nothing worse than putting in so much effort to write what you might consider being the perfect résumé, only to receive an email from the company stating that they can no longer move forward with your application. Unfortunately, a lot of job seekers suffer from this problem. Based on research, hiring managers only spend less than 8 seconds reviewing a résumé. This means that, as a job seeker, you have very limited time to make a solid impression. 

Many times, it is not that you do not possess the skills or experience required; it might just be because of how poorly structured your résumé is, or how generic it appears. Other reasons might be attributed to the inaccuracy of dates, unexplained employment gaps, unrealistic achievements, and inflated salaries.  

This article will provide you with information on how you can get your résumé noticed by a hiring manager regardless of how many other applicants apply for the same position.

How Are Résumés Selected? 

With thousands of people applying for the same position, your résumé needs to stand out amongst a sea of countless other résumés to get you noticed by a hiring manager. You might be wondering how this can be done.  

To begin with, many companies work with an ATS tracking system to find the best applicants. An ATS is an Applicant Tracking System that functions to help companies with organizing, searching and communicating with job applicants. 

An ATS works in two ways: it allows you to apply directly to the system, or it stores your résumé and ranks it automatically by searching for keywords. When using an ATS to apply for a job, you would be required to answer some questions. The ATS would automatically reject applicants whose answers are unsatisfactory.

How To Get Your Résumé Noticed 

To finally move from the job hunting phase to the employment phase, your résumé needs to beat the Application Tracking System. Below are a few pieces of advice and tips to help you achieve this.  Submit a résumé that suits the job descriptionMany job seekers make the mistake of skipping the job description. There is a reason why a hiring manager takes time out to describe the job responsibilities and requirements. The job description gives you a detailed idea of what the company wants and who they want. It explains the specific skills required, the work hours, and the experience duration. 

Submitting a résumé without thoroughly reading the description would create loopholes in your résumé. Such loopholes would be immediately detected by the ATS.

Avoid using columns or tables

Tables and columns can be used when submitting a hard copy of your résumé. However, when submitting through a tracking system or on any other virtual platform, it is advisable not to include tables and columns. 

An applicant tracking system converts your file into a different format. Therefore, when you use tables and columns, there is a high possibility of your content being muddled up.

Use keywords

A keyword is mostly used in digital marketing. It is a term that describes words or phrases used to perform a search in a search engine. For jobseekers, a keyword simply includes the skills described in the job description.  

When writing a résumé, all keywords must appear to beat the tracking system. There are thousands of resume keywords, but not all of them are relevant to the position you apply for. Ensure to include only skills that are specific to the position you are applying for. 

It is important to note that keywords should be written in both long and short forms. For instance, when including your skills as a digital marketer, write both CRM in short and in full – Customer Relationship Management. This is because some tracking systems will only look out for keywords that are spelled exactly as they were in the job description.

Avoid using a header and footer

Traditionally, most résumés were written using headers and footers. However, with the introduction of technology and the adoption of systems such as ATS, using this format will create an error in your résumé. 

Avoid fancy fonts

Since your résumé would be converted into a different format based on the design of the applicant tracking system, you must avoid using fancy fonts and large font sizes as this might automatically change. 

The safest fonts to use for your résumé include Garamond, Calibre, Times New Roman, Cambria, Arial, Helvetica, Georgia, Palatino, Tahoma, and Verdana. These fonts would undergo the least adjustments in an ATS.

Simplicity Is Key

A dense résumé, no matter how good, will most likely be rejected. The secret to a great résumé is keeping it simple. Rather than including all of your previous jobs, add up only those that are most relevant to you and in which you have achieved the most.

With the right tips, you can create the perfect résumé and ensure that it gets to the hiring manager right on time.