Photo Credit Julie_G

In our digital world, we devote countless hours to submitting applications online. But most resumes contain simple mistakes that remove them from ever being considered, especially if the employer is using an Applicant Tracking System. Here are 5 simple mistakes you can easily correct:

• File Format – Many employers use an applicant tracking system like PeopleSoft or Taleo, and those programs can’t read pdf files. If the computer is the first gatekeeper and it can’t process your resume, then you’re out of the competition before you’ve even started. Use .doc instead.

• Email Address – Sounds like a no-brainer, but you need to have a professional email address from which you are submitting your resume. According to statistics compiled by BeHiring, 76% of resumes are ignored if the email address isn’t professional. name@whatever .com will do just fine.

• Resume Black Hole – Employers often have a database where they store resumes, but when the time comes to conduct a search they don’t always search through the candidates they have on file. Better to network and have an interested party at your preferred employer than rely on your submission to the resume black hole for future opportunities.

• Font Choice – Just like file formatting, applicant tracking systems cannot read all fonts. Stick to Georgia, Verdana, Arial, Tahoma or Calibri, and don’t go smaller than 11pt. The goal is for a human to eventually read it, so make sure they can see it.

• Spelling – Make sure that you don’t have any typos in your document. That means using spell check and proofreading it yourself to ensure that you don’t have errors that your word processor will miss (e.g. lead vs led). Also make sure that if you are including acronyms that you spell them out in full at some point in the resume. Recruiters use ATS to screen for keywords, so cover your bases by using the initials and full text.

Want more tips on how to improve your resume for Applicant Tracking Systems? Check out our first webinar: Job Search by Numbers ~ Resumes coming April 26 & 30. Send your questions & comments to cate@cmcoachingservices.com