Providing a great first impression plays wonders all the time. So does providing a great impression to your future employers.
This implies that your Professional CV plays a very important role in getting you hired. Providing a well drafted CV heightens your chances of getting that interview call you have been waiting for a long time.
Nowadays, we see technology-based solutions all around us. Similarly, technology has taken over the candidate screening process as well.
In today’s world, nobody has got the time or the patience to go through long pages describing your employment history, qualifications, skills etc. Here comes the latest player on the ground, the Applicant Tracking System or simply, the ATS. Almost every Human Resource department today uses an ATS to screen their applicant pool. Hence when you draft your CV you should keep in mind that it ought to be ATS friendly as well.
Related: Get expert advice on building your Professional CV.
What is an ATS and How does it work???
An Applicant Tracking System manages the recruiting and hiring process, including job postings and job applications. It organizes and makes searchable information about job seekers. As the name suggests an ATS helps track candidates through the hiring process.
The purpose of ATS is to help organize and speed up hiring process, as it is used to select candidates. It conducts a preliminary analysis of the applicants to find the bet fits for a job, in turn speeding up the duties of the HR.
The algorithm of an ATS has been programmed to look for certain keywords matching the demands of the employer.
Do you know that over 75% of the job application do not make it through an ATS to be reviewed by a human?
Hence, the time has come that we create CVs by making it inclusive of as many keywords as possible matching the job description requirements to avoid getting rejected.
How to draft ATS friendly CVs???
The first step towards optimizing your CV to be ATS friendly, is to get the Font right.
Yes. You read it right, the Fonts do matter. Some of the Applicant Tracking Systems have trouble reading Serif Fonts such as Times New Roman or Cambria.
Let us see why is that important:
When Applicant Tracking Systems search the skills and experience section of your Curriculum Vitae for specific keywords, the matches have to be exact. That is the reason why it is recommended that applicants rewrite their CVs every time they apply for a job, adding on words from the job post’s expected duties, responsibilities and skills, and utilize them within your CV.
As we discussed, it is better to avoid Serif fonts such as Times New Roman or Cambria, instead use Sans Serif fonts like Calibri.
The second most important point to be noted is that, we all use bullet points within our CV, always keep in mind to use perfectly round ones. Use the circular-shaped symbols or something similar instead of arrows, boxes or other intricate ones.
The next point is to remember to save your CV as a Word document file and to avoid using PDF, HTML, Open office and other formats.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Career Arc/Future Workplace, the average applicant spends a minimum of 3 to 4 hours applying for a position, but the person who finally see your CV will spend only an average of 6.2 secs reading it.
You should be able to draw the attention of the reader to the most important section of your skillset that makes you the right choice, Hence the layout of your CV is very important. Thus, you should draft your CV keeping in mind both the audiences [ the ATS and the human reader].
It is always better to get rid of all headers and footers, avoid using acronyms and layout an impressive skill section boasting your attributes. DO NOT FORGET to include as many keywords as possible.
Nowadays, 40% of the employers get the help of ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) in finding candidates. As the World moves fast, we ought to move along, thus acclimating to the latest technology-based solutions are a necessity in the vastly expanding Job Market.
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