Why do we send off our application time and time again into cyber space, only to hear nothing back? Companies now use applicant tracking systems, which analyse and score all incoming CVs according to how well they fit the job description. The highest scores get picked for interview.
To make sure you are in the top 28% of candidates who pass these tracking systems, follow these simple rules:
1. Find relevant keywords for applicant tracking systems
The applicant tracking systems will look for keywords. Look at the job description and highlight those specific to the job, which should be used in your CV word for word.
2. Start with a new document
The computer won’t understand complex fonts or layouts and may reject anything it doesn’t see as standard. So use a computer-friendly font such as Ariel or Georgia.
3. Put important information at the top
Put your name, address and contact information at the top front centre, where it will easily be picked up. Then once you have sent out your CV, check your spam folder frequently for any additional instructions the system might send you.
4. Be concise and relevant
Include only your past work experience and skills and any personal information that would be relevant to this particular job application.
5. Add relevant keywords
Add the list of keywords from point 1 into the CV naturally so that they make sense and qualify the information you have included as part of point 4. Don’t stuff them in as this will look unprofessional when your CV does eventually reach the recruiter.
Try a task based approach by combining a verb with a keyword and with evidence, such as a fact or figure that resulted from the action. For example you could say ‘introduced budgetary control systems that resulted in increased profitability of over 25%’.
6. Add technical or important words relevant to the job
Include specialised or technical skills that might be searched for, for example the names of specific computer systems that you have used. Use industry names or acronyms. Include professional certifications or qualifications as well as job titles and professional organisations that you are a member of.
7. Edit and check
Edit and read through to include as many of the above points as possible. The bad news is that to beat the applicant tracking systems, you will need to do this for each individual job that you apply for online.
Don’t despair; it will be worth the effort! Follow these tips and you’ll land that dream job in no time.