Ask Vicki: How do I make a resume so that an applicant tracking system identifies my skills and projects in the resume?
In this answer on Quora, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi details how to craft the perfect resume for recruiters ... and robots.
Each week, Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi—a former recruiter who utilizes 15-plus years of experience in recruiting and human resources to empower job seekers—answers user questions on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Vicki, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. How do I make a resume so that an applicant tracking system identifies my skills and projects in the resume?
A. When you apply online to a job, chances are it’s going to land in a box specific to that job requisition. So there’s nothing special you need to stand out, because your resume is married to the job requisition in the applicant tracking system.
That said, your resume may be uploaded separately (depending on a variety of factors like the type of applicant tracking system or if it’s an employee referral), not directly, to a specific job opening, and placed into the database. In that case, you’ll need to be specific with words so your resume appears in the various keyword searches recruiters conduct.
Your resume should reflect skills, projects and experiences that match keywords to your profession. It’s always best to incorporate a variety of them to mean the same thing. For instance, if you’re pursuing a recruiting opportunity, your resume should use a variety of words such as “recruiting,” “recruiter,” “talent acquisition” and more. Having been a corporate recruiter, I typically typed various words within specific searches to mine the database of valuable resumes. Since you never know what words recruiters will use to search, rely on a variety that are related to your profession.
Next, refer to the prospective employer’s job description you’re pursuing. If they use specific verbiage to represent a skill and or type of project experience they’re seeking, use those same precise words within your resume.