The big talk in job search is about the Application Tracking Systems (ATS) used by employers. ATS systems have been used for years by many mid-to-large sized companies to manage the flow of resumes and applications coming into their system. But the guidelines employers are now using are even more of a gatekeeper and making it even tougher to get noticed no matter how good you are. It is important to know that certain basic information can put you out of the running immediately for jobs that you apply for. For instance, many job seekers choose not to put any address at all on their resume online for security reasons, including leaving off city and state. Unfortunately, the ATS system scans for address, at least city, state, zip and if it is missing, your document can be considered incomplete and automatically dismissed.
And in terms of keywords, apparently some companies let the computer system choose the keywords based on the position available making it that much harder to match up. The job seeker still only has the job posting to depend on and knowledge of the industry and related skills to guide them. I should mention that there is a new tool, Preptel, that is available. I have been learning about this service, which is a tool to compare your resume to individual job postings to see if you have the right keywords and tell you what is missing. I am still determining how valid it is for increasing your chances of being selected by the system. I will be listening in on a tele-seminar for this at the end of the week and hopefully will have more to share. The ATS will be an ongoing topic on this blog site to help you get the most out of your job search when it comes to applying online.
But, ultimately it is making networking that much more critical to the job search process. Those that are hesitating to get out there face-to-face or on social media are going to have a longer stretch to find jobs. Networking works! Don’t waste time–just jump in.