Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join Isaiah as he explains how to get your resume past pesky ATS software filters and into the hands of the hiring manager

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah explains how Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) operate and why so many resumes don’t make it past this first filter
  • Next, Isaiah discusses how simple changes in formatting can help your resume bypass ATS software
  • Finally, Isaiah gives specific examples of keywords all ATS software looks for in a resume

From This Week’s Show… 

The Reason Why Your Resume Is Getting Rejected

Picture this: You find your ideal industry job, and everything lines up. You have all the required skills; their values align with yours; and you even have a company referral.

After hitting send, you’re sure it’s only a matter of time before the hiring manager reaches out to schedule an interview.

But days later, instead of getting a personalized call, you get an automated rejection email.

You think, “How is this possible? I was the perfect match!”

Unfortunately, your resume was rejected before anyone looked at it.

According to Forbes magazine, 75% of resumes submitted for a job never see human eyes.

That’s because most resumes are filtered out by the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that companies use today more than ever.

ATS Are Smart Software Programs With Dumb Algorithms

ATS are software programs designed to eliminate applicants from the candidate pool – rejecting any resume that doesn’t closely match their search algorithm.

This doesn’t sound fair, does it?

Fair or not, it’s something you must learn to work with.

ATS software screens based on Boolean search principles – it simply looks for the right combination of keywords.

Unfortunately, this can work against you.

For one, some ATS systems can only read certain document formats. And if it can’t read your resume, it considers it a non-match, sending it straight into the virtual trash.

Common Formatting Mistakes To Avoid On Your Resume

Studies show that 43% of candidates submit resumes that are incompatible with ATS software.

This is actually good news.

It means simply submitting a correctly formatted resume puts you ahead of the competition.

So, always make sure you check the submission system – many will tell you which formats are acceptable.

If you’re not sure, your best bet is to submit a Word document. Even PDFs can be problematic for some ATS software.

To make your resume as readable as possible, keep the format simple.

Many ATS systems don’t know what to do with fancy features.

You should also avoid the header/footer section of the document. Most systems can’t read these.

Why Getting Fancy With Your Resume Sends It Straight To The Trash

Avoid using abbreviations, unless they were included in the job description.

If the system is looking for “nuclear magnetic resonance” and you put “NMR”, your resume goes in the trash.

Also, stick with traditional Human Resource terminology for your section titles, including “Professional Summary”, “Work Experience”, Education” and so on.

ATS systems are familiar with these terms, so it’ll be easier for it to make sense of your work history.

If you’re ready to start your transition into industry, you can apply to book a free Transition Call with our founder Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists. Apply to book a Transition Call here.

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