Applicant tracking systems often use resume parsing software to extract information from a resume. A resume that is overly formatted, containing things like pictures, graphics or logos can confuse the resume parser, resulting in garbled information in the applicant tracking system. Here are five tips to create a resume that’s ready for an applicant tracking system:
- Place your contact information in the body of your resume; not in the header.
- Keep your resume formatting simple, and when possible, utilize bullets. Although resume parsing software is improving, bulleted lists are easier to extract data from than paragraphs of text. The result is a resume that is easier to find in the applicant tracking system!
- Use proper capitalization, punctuation, and grammar so that resume parsing software can extract the appropriate information.
- When possible, upload a Microsoft Word version of your resume. Although resume parsing software accepts other file types, PDFs and other formats might have file protection that prevents the system from utilizing its full capabilities. For example, a PDF that is saved as an image can not be parsed.
- Include keywords used in the job description. Assuming you have the skills mentioned, using the same keywords as the job description could improve your resume’s visibility.
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