These resume screening systems can be bad for job seekers, but they serve as a lifesaver for HR staff and recruiters who normally see a large volume of resumes. These machines remove the need for hiring managers to review stacks of resumes the old-fashioned way, one by one.
However, you can use tricks to outwit these machines.
Here are some tips to beat resume screening systems and get as many interviews as you can:
Use the right file format. Always follow company instructions regarding the file format to use. If they are asking for a text-only file, make sure you provide one.
If a company doesn’t ask for your resume in a specific format, it’s always safe to upload your resume in either MS word or text-only format.
Optimize for keywords. Screening systems are simple as long as you know how they operate. These systems are programmed by HR professionals to check for crucial qualifications.
Once the computer reads your resume and finds the right keywords, you’re a step closer to your resume being read by the recruiter. So be sure to include relevant keywords that apply to your field of expertise.
To learn what keywords to use, start by looking for clues in the job posting. Mark any required skills, experience or qualifications that are related to the job. Check your resume and add any missing keywords to increase your chances of passing the first screen.
Avoid the machine. This may not sound right, but the best way to beat the system is to avoid it as often as you can. Go the extra mile and actually circumvent the system, right after submitting your resume through it.
You can do this by doing your research and searchingfor a name within the company. You can even use your LinkedIn account to find out if you have friends working for your potential employer. If so, ask for an introduction and get the recruiter’s name.
You can also use the telephone and call the reception desk to get the information you need. As another option, you can submit your resume to the person by snail mail. Doing this increases your chances of getting the attention of the recruiter because sending resumes by traditional mail has become less common.