Resumes for Robots

Written by Market Street Talent | March 4, 2022

Despite a job market with an abundance of openings, it can still be hard for qualified people to get an interview – even with a well-prepared resume showcasing all your applicable IT skills.

When that happens, it might be because you’ve been de-prioritized by an automated applicant tracking system. You can have an extraordinary story to tell, just the right skills, and be a perfect fit for the company’s culture, but if the robot doesn’t pick you first, you might never get to speak to a human.

Optimize Your Resume for Bot Crawls

It’s understandable, especially in the work-from-home era, that large companies might be overwhelmed by the thousands of job applications they receive, and look for a way to thin them out before sending them to human review. But what can you do to increase your chances of getting past the robot? In short, be strategic: 

  • Look for keywords in the job description and use them. Beyond that, think of how great you are at getting search engines to do your bidding, and use those smarts here – tell the robot what it wants to hear! And maybe more than once – repeat important keywords if it seems appropriate.
  • Build a skills section into your resume. This is an easy way to include those important keywords that align you with a technical position.
  • Tailor your resume as closely to the specific job as you can – don’t assume that you can talk through the details with a person later. If the job description mentions specific skills that apply to you, include them.
  • Keep the formatting simple, since this will be read by an automated job candidate recruitment program first. Graphics and columns look great to a person, but might confuse an applicant tracking system.
  • Sophisticated automated systems will go out and look at your online presence as well, so make sure the information there (such as LinkedIn or a personal online portfolio) is consistent with what you submit for this particular job opening.

Don't Phone it in if You Want to Receive the Call for an Interview

Every situation is different, so evaluate each job opportunity accordingly. And, keep a human-friendly resume handy for smaller businesses, or any other impromptu opportunities that pop up!

Need help with your job search? Market Street Talent is here to help. Check out our recent IT job postings on our jobs page and reach out to one of our specialized technical recruiters today!