Posted By Amanda Collins on March 15, 2010
Did you know 75% résumés are overlooked? If you are like most people, you have applied to and uploaded résumés for dozens of jobs and heard nothing back. This is generally referred to as the “résumé black hole.”
If you do not know how to beat the résumé black hole, chances are your résumé will be overlooked. The root of the problem is a piece of technology called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). The ATS was designed to streamline the flow of applicants for companies. This is accomplished by having a central place where all applications and résumés are warehoused.
To further compound the issue, ATSs are only 65% to 80% accurate in reading the information in your résumé. This means that one-fifth to one-third of the time the ATS is just plain wrong in importing data wholly and properly into the ATS. If your résumé makes this cut, the ATS then screens and ranks your résumé against open positions.
Next, résumés that pass the ATS screen are generally sent to a gatekeeper who spends about 30 seconds reading the résumé before deciding to move it along to the recruiter or hiring manager or pass it along to the trash can. About 1 in 10 résumés are passed along to the decision maker who decides if you will be interviewed.
Combat the résumé black hole by:
Loading up on keywords: ATSs rank on keyword density. Keywords should match closely to the required skills that appear in the job posting. The better you score against a jobs skill requirements the higher your résumé will rank.
Bypassing the ATS: Leverage your connections in person and the social media spectrum. Attend networking events and be sure you have a complete profile on LinkedIn. Also, connect with a recruiter (or two!) who specializes in your industry.
Making sure the job fits. Especially in today’s tough job environment, it is even more important to make sure that you have the skills and background required for the job.