Recruitment is a time-consuming process and talent acquisition professionals are forever on the lookout for new tools to reduce the time-to-hire quotient. One such tool that nearly every company uses is an ATS or Applicant Tracking System. Before your resume makes it to the senior recruiter or the hiring manager, it has to pass the ATS test or in other words the AI Bots challenge. And believe it or not, 75% of resumes never reach the hiring managers. Yes, only one in four resumes pass the ATS to reach the human eyes.

How Does the ATS Screen Resume?
The ATS works on keyword-matching algorithms that sift through applicant’s resume looking for certain keywords that highlight skills, location, tools, etc. If your resume doesn’t contain the right keywords or is weakly formatted, it could get lost in the system. So, while you might have the best skills and job experience for the role, if you haven’t included the right keywords on your resume, your CV could very well get lost in the black hole.
So what can be done by the candidates to counter AI bots? What are the measures they can take to optimize their resume? Here are a few tips to stand out and create a resume that passes the AI Bots with 100% accuracy.

1) Use Proper Keywords

The primary step is to get the keywords right, but this isn’t that simple as they’re constantly evolving. However, you can make a good start by reviewing the job description on employer’s websites and other popular job portals. Note the relevant keywords used in the job overview and candidate specifications. Also, keep the focus on both the role and the desired industry role. Some of the other factors that you can take care of include:

  • Find Focus Keywords: Use TagCrowd to find the keywords to focus on. Enter the company’s job description in TagCrowd and it’ll highlight the keywords you must be focusing on.
  • Use Acronyms: Use both the full-form and acronym when describing your certification, job role, or diploma. For example if you are a Chartered Financial Analyst then make sure you have also mentioned CFA in your resume.

2) Use Relevant Job Titles
‘Director of First Impressions’ may sound quite fancy, but an AI resume screening tool is unlikely to identify it. Always use standard job titles that are recognized in the job market. Use your main keyword in the headline on the CV and modify it in accordance with different job applications.

For instance, you may need to change ‘Product Manager’ to ‘Brand Manager’ depending on the job advert to which you’re applying. By doing this, you are including the most relevant keywords as well as aligning yourself with the mind of the recruiter who is trying to fill the vacant job role.

3) Incorporate Suitable Skills and Experience
Include all the skills relevant to the job role you are applying for. When recruiters search for keywords, they are seeking concrete skills. They won’t be searching for ‘result-focused’ or ‘team player.’ They are looking for precise and relevant achievements.

A solid CV consists of effective highlights and presentation of achievements, alongside optimized keywords. For example, a CV for a senior executive role or leadership position needs to reflect a senior-level responsibility.

4) Properly Format Your CV

It is always frustrating to miss the opportunity to land an interview with a highly lucrative job. Imagine, how you would feel knowing the CV was rejected by the bot because of poor formatting. You can avoid this problem by following simple rules which most of the tools follow while screening resumes. For example, ATS algorithms won’t read your CV if it includes:

  • Graphics or symbols of any kind (use simple bullet points)
  • Use of multiple fonts styles, sizes, or colors
  • Tables (use tabs instead)
  • Unnecessary capitalizations (use capitalizations for titles such as ‘PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE’)

It’s not about tricking the algorithms or the bots; the bots are far too clever for that. An appropriately optimized CV will not only maximize the chance of passing the bots but it would also appeal to the human recruiter.

Stay in the Know!
Sign-up for our emails and get insights that’ll help you hire better, faster, and cooler!
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )