Got My Resume Through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) with a 95% Success Rate!

Got My Resume Through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) with a 95% Success Rate!

Articles Blog

Hey everyone this is Self Made
Millennial, I’m Madeline Mann. Today I’m going to give you resume tips on how to tweak it
to make sure it passes through a company’s automated resume scanning
software. I’ll tell you how to figure out which keywords to put on your
resume, how many times you should put them on your resume, where you should put
them, so that these resume scanning robots will pass your resume along to
actual human eyes so you can get the interview. This is a highly requested
video by you viewers so that’s why I am doing it, because I am here to serve you.
What many job seekers don’t realize is that up to 75 percent of resumes are
rejected before a human even ever sees them, and that’s because basically
all companies use an applicant tracking system or an ATS, which is a way for them
to organize all the resumes that come in, but some of these companies use the ATS
to actually scan the resume and move those along to the recruiters which they
think meet certain qualifications. ATS’ scan from hard skills and soft skills,
not these things that I call “fuzzy facts.” Hard skills are things that are tactical
and technical, while soft skills are tough to quantify, but they’re core to a
job like communication skills or ability to negotiate a contract. And the fuzzy
facts are things that you label yourself as such as self-starter, high performer,
results-driven. Sorry to say but an ATS does not care
about those fuzzy facts nor do any humans, so leave them off your resume. So
what keywords should you include on your resume? Well I think that you should go
find at least 3 or 4 job descriptions that really fit the kind of
role that you want, and they’re all very similar. Take all of the job descriptions,
take all the text, and paste it into a word cloud generator, and I’ll link the
one I use in the description. And so I’m going to show you an example of a word
cloud I generated from 4 UX designer job descriptions. This word cloud tells
us the keywords that we need to have on a resume like mock-ups, Agile,
Sketch, research, wireframes, as well as some soft skills: creative, collaborate,
communication. Now that we know the most important keywords to have on a resume,
let’s now tailor our resume further to a specific job description. So if I want to
apply to this designer role, I take a look at the description, I see that
actually we have a lot of these keywords already. We have Agile, we have
wireframing, we have Sketch. But we’re missing some really important ones such as
having experience designing for these kind of platforms and apps. We don’t have
Gliffy, we would need to put that, as well as we don’t have anything about
prototyping. So we would likely get rejected by these bots if we don’t make
these updates to our resume. Make sure those additional keywords are in your
resume but do not lie–I’m not telling you to lie. Only put them in if you actually
have experience with them. Now let’s move on to the frequency and formatting of your
keywords. There are 2 ways that an ATS determines the strength of the skill you
have. The first is the number of times it appears on your resume, and the second
is the amount of time that skill was used based on where it’s placed on the
resume. Let’s optimize for both. Let’s start with the number of times a keyword
should appear on your resume. So especially for the very important skills,
make sure they appear on your resume 2 to 3 times. So for example, design and
wireframes were really big so we want to make sure those both appear at least 2
times. I would also determine the importance of keyword by the number of
times it shows up in that job’s job description. The way to do this is to
create a “core competencies” or “areas of expertise” section on your resume that
displays your greatest hard and soft skills. But make sure, double check, that
there are no fuzzy facts on there. If something has an abbreviation like SEO
for search engine optimization, I would include both the abbreviated
version and the full version. And then drizzle those keywords into your work
experience and education sections where appropriate. Now let’s talk about the
length of experience for a skill, which is the second
way that an ATS determines through keywords if you are qualified. The way the ATS
works in this case is they read the amount of time that you were at a job, so
let’s say it was from January 2015 to January 2018, that’s 3 years, so let’s
say some of the skills you listed, one of them is that you built a training
facilitation. So that skill of building training facilitations
will now be assigned the amount of 3 years experience. If a skill is just
hanging out on its own, like it’s up there in that core competency section
we were talking about, then it is automatically ascribed 6 months
experience. So that’s why it’s important to reiterate your skills throughout your
resume. You know, it’s a little bit tricky because I’ll tell people this and then
they will just pack their resume full of keywords and it’s almost like they
forgot that humans have to read this, so there’s kind of a balance there. You
really want your resume to be showing your accomplishments and I really
believe that if you’re doing this word cloud and you’re reading the job
description and tuning your resume to be towards that job description, you’re
going to be okay. So we just went over a lot, let’s review. Create a word cloud with a
few similar job descriptions and then use those main words to put into your
initial resume draft. Second, before you apply to the job, make sure you read the job
description. Pull out those additional key words and rearrange your resume to
focus on those words. Third, keep in mind the number of times a word shows up on
your resume, and you can use a skills section to help with this. Fourth, pay
attention to how much time is ascribed to each skill based on the amount of
time you’re at each job where that keyword appears. And fifth, give it a good
read over to make sure that human can still understand your story and
accomplishments. That’s it everyone, please do not overthink it too much, like
I said, most people don’t even read job descriptions so I know that you can be
better than that. Make sure you hit subscribe because I am coming in hot
with new content every week as well as hit a like on this video, because that’s
how my bots will know that you liked it. Thanks everyone, Wi-Fi high five.

30 thoughts on “Got My Resume Through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) with a 95% Success Rate!”

  1. I'm so excited!!! I'd never have thought of imputing job descriptions into a word cloud! I knew you'd have some amazing tips on this subject. Super helpful from beginning to end. Thank you Madeline!!!

  2. I just had another thought, I'm looking into taking digital marketing classes to improve those skills and using the word cloud as you suggested is also a great way to identify the areas/skills you may be lacking and figure out how to develop those skills, i.e.: classes, volunteer, freelance, etc

  3. I need to leave a testimonial about the word cloud tip. I used a description of a job I had already applied for, a job I interviewed for, and a brand new job posting. I updated my resume accordingly and applied to the new job post I saw. Bingo, I got called for a phone interview! I know no one at the organization and couldn't even find any of my linkedIn connections who did. How is that for a testimonial??

  4. I will be graduating nursing school next year and have been prepping on how to rock the resume/interview process – hoping to have a job lined up before crossing the stage. And you've explained how to hack the ATS well. If it's working for other professionals, then I'll have at it! 😛 Thank you.

  5. HAY PEEPS, IT'S HERE! "Fill in the Blank Job Hunt: Essential Email Templates for the Job Search" is now out to super speed up your job search and get results. Get your copy here:

  6. For keywords comparison between a CV and a job description, I'd rather suggest than WorldCloud, as CVScan has been specifically designed to analyse and score a CV against a job offer.

  7. Hi Madeline, I have a question: would it matter if I used past tense or present tense in my resume. I read some advice that said past tense for past roles, and present tense for duties you are currently doing. But would the ATS distinguish between, say, "coordinate" or "coordinated"? or will the ATS lump them both together as being the same?

  8. Hi Self-Made.Millnenial. You are saying I need to get 4 different job descriptions based on my job title experience and past all in wordcloud or tagcrowd and generate a master list of all keywords for the job title based on my experience for future jobs?

  9. Hey Madeline. Are words like resourceful, passionate and excited about learning funny facts? Even though they mention those kind of facts in the job description? Thanks.

  10. Excellent video. I didn't know anything about optimizing my resume but this was super helpful, concise, short, and easy to understand. Definitely using this as a base for my current job hunt.

  11. If your looking for a job in several different areas, maybe design plus marketing, should I just use 1 job description at a time so I'm not contaminating my word cloud with irrelevant information? Wouldn't it be better to do this for each job because each job will stress different needs?

  12. Thank you for sharing this amazing content! This is the first video that I watched that is really intended to help people getting an interview rather than try to sell workshops.

  13. It would be nice to mention format of resume, what I know is ATS cannot read if resume is not created with proper font, color…etc. otherwise all the effort trash. Please correct me if I am wrong. Thank you for your video. Cheers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *