So you’ve tried the resume scan tool to optimize your resume to get ATS, but aren’t quite sure what match rate you should aim for to get noticed by the hiring manager. In this article, we’ll tell you all about the ideal match rate to aim for, as well as the minimum match rate to be competitive.

Before we get into that, here are a few things to think about.

Is the ATS a friend or foe?

ATS, or applicant tracking systems, are software that sift through job applications to determine the best-qualified candidates for a specific position. Recruiters search their end of the ATS by keywords, including job titles, hard skills, and location. The ATS filters through the job applications and determines the top candidates based on keyword matches.

ATS save recruiters and hiring managers from having to read droves of resumes and going through dozens of unqualified applicants. Because of how the ATS streamlines the hiring process, 99% of Fortune 500 companies and at least 66% of big companies use it.

With an ATS, any small company saves around $10,000 in wasted time and effort. For big companies, the savings are much more. 

This means ATS are not the bad guy. Furthermore, they are here to stay!

So instead of treating the ATS as your enemy, you should treat it as a friend. Understand how it works.  Use it to your advantage. And make sure your resume is ATS-friendly.

How do you beat the ATS?

Optimization is key! 70% of resumes get rejected by the ATS before they get reviewed by humans. So no matter how good your qualifications are, if your resume is not ATS-friendly and optimized, then it might not even get the chance to be seen by hiring managers.

So how do you optimize your resume? You do this by strategically writing down the keywords and terms you think the recruiter will most likely search for and working these into your resume. This takes a lot of time and effort, but this is critical to actually getting your resume in the hands of real humans and landing that dream job.

How does Jobscan optimize your resume?

Jobscan automates this process to save you energy and time and help increase your chances of ranking high in the ATS, getting noticed by recruiters, and landing job interviews and offers. 

  • Jobscan helps you determine the right keywords and terms that you need to incorporate into your resume based on the job posting and proven recruiter preferences.
  • Jobscan lays out the hard skills, soft skills, and industry buzzwords that a recruiter or hiring manager is likely to use so that you can include them in your resume.
  • Since skills are weighted differently for a specific job posting, Jobscan analyzes the skills and ranks them in order of priority based on the job description. Jobscan also goes the extra mile and gives you a list of other keywords that aren’t in the job listing but are essential;
  • Jobscan shows you how many times you mentioned a specific keyword in your resume and how many times that keyword is mentioned in the job description;
  • When you provide the name of the company you are trying to apply to and indicate the URL of the job posting, Jobscan can analyze which ATS that company is using and give you tips tailored to that specific ATS;
  • Jobscan outlines various ATS tips that will help you get a bigger match score and ultimately get a top-rank resume that gets noticed and read by recruiters.

These are just a few of the many ways that Jobscan helps job seekers. But the game-changer is that our matching algorithm is based off of top applicant tracking systems, and once you scan your resume against a specific job description, it shows you a match score and a lot of pointers to improve and better optimize your resume.

What’s a reasonable Jobscan Match Rate to aim for?

We generally recommend a match rate score of 80%. However, many career counselors and Jobscan users see success even with just a 65% match rate. While your resume may not be as optimized at a 65% as it will be at an 80%, it will be much more competitive than the applicants who did not use Jobscan.

On the flip side, there is such thing as an over-optimized resume. We find that an 80% is really the sweet spot between optimizing your resume without overstuffing it with keywords. After all, your goal is to get your resume in front of a real person in the end, and you don’t want it to sound keyword-stuffed and robotic when it gets there.

What does an over-optimized resume look like?

Over-optimization happens when a jobseeker:

  1. Crams so many keywords in a resume even when it’s no longer truthful and uses keywords incorrectly just to score high
  1. Includes a broad set of skills even when they are not proficient and competent in it in order to beat the ATS
  1. Peppers the resume with keywords just to have a high match rate even when it sounds awkward and robotic

(Remember, at the end of the day, the recruiter or hiring manager decides who to hire. So as much as you want to beat the bots, you need to appeal to the human eye and brain as well.)

  1. Hacks the system by repeatedly typing keywords in white font

(Never do this! This is risky and unethical. And it never works. What’s worse is that some ATS programs are now smart enough to uncover these hidden keywords when parsing your resume. So this is a big turnoff to the recruiter and a really fast way to burn your chances of getting hired.)

  1. Overloads the resume with a specific keyword, and uses it over and over and over again, making it sound unnatural in an effort to rank high in the ATS.

(For instance, a job seeker would write: I am an accomplished content writer with 5+ years of experience in content writing who managed a content writing team and implemented content writing strategies.)

Going through the route of over-optimization might sound tempting to beat the resume bots, but this might come back to bite you any time. Your best bet is to thoughtfully and truthfully present your experience, accomplishments, and skills in your resume and include the most important keywords where they fit naturally. Ultimately, landing your dream job requires a well-written and optimized resume that doesn’t only take into account the ATS but also the perspective of the recruiters and hiring managers.

Jobscan’s Resume Optimization tool has helped millions of job seekers get job interviews and land job offers. Try our tool today and make sure you get at least a 65% match rate!