It may seem like your job search is out of your hands when your countless resume submissions yield zero responses, but the math is no coincidence. By tweaking your resume in a way that gives it a better chance of getting through employers' scanning software, your chances of scoring an interview are multiplied.
Fortune asked a variety of industry experts about how job seekers can pass the scanning test and make it to the top candidate pools, and these six tips seem pretty priceless.
- Sarah Hightower Hill, CEO of career management firm's Chandler Hill Partners, says you should repeat what you see in the job posting: "If they say 13 years experience washing blue dishes, then say experience with blue dish washing."
- If you don't have a particular skill, Hightower Hill doesn't promote embellishing but says there is a way to get around it that will give your resume a better chance of being read. For example, if the posting says they want someone with knowledge of SAS, she says to include something like "SAS familiarity," "currently studying SAS," or even "SAS interest."
- Employ a tactic called stemming. Barbara Safani of Career Solvers uses the term to describe utilizing variations of key words, like including the word accounting in your resume if you're an accountant.
To see three more expert tips,
- Safani advises using "both official terms along with their abbreviations to cover all their bases for key words."
- Nancy Friedberg, president of Career Leverage, says applicants must use current industry jargon to get noticed.
- Leave out the fluff. According to Safani, "Terms like hard working, loyal and great communicator aren't going to get you anywhere."