How can I optimize my resume for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)?

Question

I think that I have a good resume but I’m not getting contacted by recruiters or hiring managers. I have read about the applicant systems. and I wonder if this is the problem.

Answer

There are two primary ways to help your resume to get past Applicant Tracking Systems.

The best approach to get past an ATS is to keep your resume format simple and use a plain format in either Word or in a text file.  At its core, an ATS is really a content management system or a database. When a resume is parsed into these systems, any fancy formatting, visuals, or styles are stripped out.  Charts, graphics, columns, and tables can in fact confuse an ATS and cause problems during the resume parsing process.

Another tip is to customize your resume to the job description – this means naturally integrating those words or phrases that seem to be important skills into your resume. This means looking at the job description and identifying those words or phrases that seem to be important skills. Try to use the exact phrase and only include abbreviations if they are common in the industry.

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