Tired of Getting Caught by Applicant Tracking Systems? Try These 3 Tips

Being a job seeker can sometimes be degrading.

You’ve taken the time to weed through job listings. You’ve proofed your resume so many times you’re cross-eyed. You’ve crafted what you think is the perfect cover letter, cleverly linking your professional experience to this particular role. And you’ve sent it off.

Then, crickets.

At Newcastle Associates, I hear this complaint from candidates who’ve been looking for a job for a while before they come to me.

Why don’t people respond to job applications?

The truth is, hiring managers and recruiters sometimes get hundreds of resumes for one job posting. It would be impossible for them to closely review each one, never mind respond thoughtfully to each.

Often, HR teams use specialized software for the first pass at applicants. And if your resume doesn’t make it past that software challenge, it can drop into the void.

A few tips:

1. Don’t apply for jobs you’re clearly not qualified for.
2. Use keyword optimization — similar language in your cover letter and resume to what’s in the job description.
3. Use traditional, or at least consistent, resume formatting.

Article on Glassdoor lists a few more good tips.