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Get Your Resume Past The AI Bot and ATS

June 30, 2020



If you have to submit your resume through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) there are things you can do to give yourself the best shot at being seen. It’s important to understand these systems, like them or not, are in place to help recruiters focus in on people who have the right experience and skill set for an open position. If you’re able to pass the AI bot and make it into the view of a company recruiter, it means you’re on the radar as a viable candidate for the position and that’s something to feel good about.

1. Understand how to use keywords. You want to see matches in the job titles in your resume, skills (software is an easy example of where you need to have a match), education and degree received (spelling out Bachelor Degree / Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science), responsibilities you’ve held, and more. There are services that can help you use to help you prepare. Check out JobScan, SkillSyncer, RezRunner, and two simple and free resources that will let you see keywords in your resume next to a job description's keywords are Wordle and Tagcrowd. 

2. Use both full names and acronyms when possible. As we used “Applicant Tracking System” and the acronym ATS in this article you want to do the same in your resume.

3. Font and format. Use a font that is easy for a bot to pick up. Arial or some other san serif, very plain, font is the way to go. For formatting, make sure you use a consistent approach to listing your Job Title, Company Name, Dates of Employment, and description of responsibilities. We here at Malakye love creative and unique resume formats but the bots do not.

4. Accuracy. Not to much, not too little, not overinflated, not vague, but just real, complete, accurate information. It’s the right way to go.

5. Pretend someone is watching you. You know that if you were sitting on the sidelines watching and saw someone apply to every open job you have you would not take that person seriously for any one of them. If that’s not how you see it, do believe most people will not take that candidate serious for any open job.

Remember applying for a job through an ATS is just one part of it. You still have plenty of opportunity to be a real person in your networking and follow up.