Every job you apply to is likely to have a unique internal process for accepting and reviewing resumes. This can vary depending on the size of the company as a whole, the number of staff devoted to the hiring process, and the personal preferences of recruiters and hiring managers. Some businesses keep their review process completely human-centric, others rely entirely on applicant tracking systems to sort their resumes, and others might use a combined practice. 

In some cases, you can find out the general process a company might be using. But in many others, it can be quite difficult. That’s why we suggest covering all your bases. The first hurdle to consider is that ATS plays a hefty role in the hiring process. If this is the case, your resume might never actually make it to a recruiter’s desk without meeting the right requirements. 

How to tailor your resume to the specific ATS your dream job uses

So you know that there’s a good chance your resume might be scanned by an ATS, but there are so many different applicant tracking systems companies could choose to use, each with its own unique “rules”. How do you make sure you’re following the right ones?

For example, some ATS recognize plural versions of a keyword, while others do not. Understanding which system will be scanning your resume can change a lot about how you write and edit. So how do you tell which specific one will be scanning yours? Jobscan’s resume scanner has a unique feature that finds the answer for you in seconds. 

Follow these three easy steps:

After uploading your resume and the job description for the role you’re applying for in the Jobscan tool, you’ll be taken to a results dashboard. 

  1. Scroll past the Overview section to the ATS Findings section. The first entry in this section is “ATS Tip”. 
  1. Here you can enter the name of the company you are applying to along with the URL of the application link. 
  1. Jobscan will produce the name of the specific ATS that the company uses in the hiring process along with software-specific tips to keep in mind as you edit your resume. This feature does not yet match all companies, but coverage will continue to grow over time.

Finding the balance between recruiter readability and ATS

Now that your resume checks all the right boxes for the company’s ATS, let’s ensure that it will impress the recruiter or hiring manager once it arrives in their inbox. A great resume strikes the perfect balance between the technical and human elements. Never forget that at the end of the day, your goal is to connect with the human recruiter, not the robot. 

Here are a few key tips to keep in mind:

  • Clarity is key. On average, recruiters spend about 6 seconds looking at a resume before making a decision whether they want to move forward or not. Be sure that all aspects of your resume (format, headings, writing, etc.) is easy to read and understand quickly. 
  • Include what they care about most. Be a detective when reading the job description. If certain skills or tasks are mentioned repeatedly, it likely means it’s particularly important to the recruiter. Be sure to emphasize those items in your resume. 
  • Avoid keyword stuffing. While these keywords are very important to signal your qualifications for the job (and for those ATS filters), overdoing it can make your resume difficult to read and lack a “human” quality. 
  • Double check the little details. There’s no faster way to get immediately thrown out of consideration for a role than to accidentally insult the recruiter. Be sure to double check your file names, introductions and salutations in cover letters, and any email correspondence to ensure you’re using the correct company names, titles, and individual names of recruiters. 
  • Make their job easy. Never forget that recruiters have a job to do, and it’s not all about finding you your dream job. Most recruiters have certain numbers of qualified candidates they’re required to forward to the hiring manager, and timelines they’re trying to meet. When you submit a resume that was carefully tailored to the job description and meets their requirements, they’ll be excited to move you forward in the process because it also makes them look good. 

Try Jobscan for yourself to get resume edit suggestions in seconds to pass both the ATS and recruiters. Paste in your resume text and the job description below to try for free:

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