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Buzzwords Are The Key To Beating The Resume System

A lot of resumes focus exclusively on skill sets and educational backgrounds. That is important, but the verbiage one uses in the document may actually be as important as what you bring to the table. The initial round of resume screening involves more than HR people looking for grammatical and spelling errors. Many companies are now using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen job applicants before resumes even get to a live human being. According to an article on career builder “With…more and more recruitment services to transitioning to being solely online, HR departments are using different computer programs to scan through resumes and pull out documents based on frequency of certain words.” said a senior advisor at Mentat.  

The first step is to research keywords from the job description. An ATS system essentially scores resumes on how many keyword matches the document includes based on the job description. Don’t hesitate to borrow words directly from the job description. It’s important to re-frame your experience by using the same language from the posting.  According to the article some examples this re-framing include; job titles, preferred experience, technical skills and academic requirements.

Context is everything. Be sure to not to use every word from the job description. Focus on a key five to seven words you see included multiple times in the description. “Keywords should also be in context with the content- plugging in a list of skill sets in a bulleted list is not actually relaying how you know the skill, or what you did with is useless. Says Dawn Boyer, resume writer and CEO of D. Boyer Consulting.  Taking some time on the front end to customize your resume will greatly increase the likelihood of you making it through the ATS process.