We have talked about the obstacle you yourself can be to getting you hired. What about before the interview? Well, if you aren’t getting interviews, that means there is a problem with your resume. Typically, after having your resume written (in current industry standards), the big problem is ATS. Many candidates still do not understand applicant tracking systems (ATS) or even know about them.

I know. I talk about ATS – a lot. The number of people that still ask what ATS is surprises me. Perhaps if I continue to talk about it, more people will learn and will be better for it? Fingers crossed, because with clients in Oregon, New York, California, Texas, Ohio, Florida – across the country – all asking about it, it clearly isn’t a regional thing. High-caliber candidates are being missed because they don’t understand ATS.

More than helping overloaded HR staff manage candidate interviews and which phase the hundreds of applicants for each position are in throughout hiring, ATS takes in, processes and sorts candidates that match pre-set criteria. If your resume doesn’t have the right criteria, i.e.keywords, a human being never sees your resume. This is where my appreciation of ATS ends – with so many amazing people being passed over for roles they would excel at in exchange for the automation of a process.

Sure, it’s great job security for me. I stay abreast of the latest trends and standards in resume writing and do excellent keyword research. My clients don’t have to worry about those things, but I worry about the people who don’t understand keywords, current hiring trends and don’t get the right help. Worse still, people applying for a promotion within their own company are subject to ATS. While it helps to have internal contacts and the inside track, we still see internal candidates passed over for lack of appeal and keywords in their resumes.

All this said, your homework is to take a critical look at your resume. If you don’t think you have a document that sets you apart from your competition, it’s time for a re-write.

Thanks so much for reading and subscribing! Talk soon.

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