You write a beautiful résumé that you are sure will be noticed by any employer. You’ve picked a template that looks professional and attractive. You’ve worked for hours to make sure you spelled everything correctly and that there are no grammatical errors; because after all, you want to make a great first impression.
Once you are satisfied with your résumé, you start your job search and find your dream job. You rush to fill out the application and submit it with your beautifully written résumé. A few minutes later, you get an email from the company where you just applied.
“Wow, that was fast,” you think to yourself as you rush to open it.
You feel your stomach sink as you read the first line, “Thank you for your interest in working with us. However, after reviewing your qualifications…”
“How can that be? I just submitted it a few minutes ago.”
Chances are your résumé was never read by an actual human being, and the message you received was a form letter that was sent automatically. In today’s high-tech world, most companies are using an ATS (short for Applicant Tracking System). This software allows employers to scan résumés for certain key skills required to be successful on the job.
When you apply online, either through a job search site like Indeed or through a company’s website, there’s a good chance that your résumé is being scanned by an ATS. If your résumé doesn’t have the skills they’re looking for, you could get the dreaded, “thank you, but no thank you” response. So, how do you get past the ATS?
There are several different types of applicant tracking systems out there, each with different requirements. Below is a list of the most common considerations to keep in mind.
Looking for a job, let alone writing a résumé, can be a daunting and difficult task. But take heart in knowing that you are not alone—and there are resources available to help!
Employment Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints works closely with DI to offer personalized employment coaching, Active Job Search groups, and even a live résumé workshop every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Mountain Time throughout the U.S. and Canada. To take advantage of all these resources (and more), visit our new and improved website at employment.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Paul Felshaw has a passion for helping others become self-reliant and loves teaching résumé writing skills. Paul has a master’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He has been working as a résumé writer for Deseret Industries since 2010 and became certified through the National Résumé Writer’s Association in 2018.