How This Job Seeker Beat the Applicant Tracking System and Landed a Chief Executive Role with a 20% Salary Bump.

Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » How This Job Seeker Beat the Applicant Tracking System and Landed a Chief Executive Role with a 20% Salary Bump.

“I’ve submitted my resume to over 200 positions online and I haven’t received one interview. I just don’t understand it. I only apply to positions that I’m qualified for, it’s not like I’m making a change or applying to roles I have no experience in.”

I could hear the frustration in Jeff’s voice.

“You could be the most qualified candidate for the job but when you apply online it’s not just about whether you’re qualified or not. There are a lot of factors that go into the scoring of your resume in applicant tracking systems. Most people don’t even know all the factors that can affect how their resume is read by software programs.

For instance, if you use a PDF format the software can’t scan the text and so it will score your resume as a 0% match.

Text boxes within your resume block the software systems from scanning the text inside the box. This results in any keywords or matching content not being scored.

There are 400 different applicant tracking systems all with different scoring systems and requirements.”
I explained.

“How do you beat the system then?” Jeff asked.

“When we work with clients, we optimize their resumes to get through applicant tracking systems by creating keyword-rich content and by following the 15 keys to ATS optimization.

There are 15 factors that we know affect resume scoring and we use our 15-point optimization checklist as a guide to creating ATS-compliant resumes.

Additionally, you want to follow-up and contact the hiring managers and decision-makers at each company you apply to”
I advised.

Jeff sounded relieved by the end of our call and started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We created an ATS-optimized version of his resume and taught Jeff how to find and connect with hiring managers and decision-makers at his target companies.

He never had a target company list before so creating one was the first step for him. Once he had a list of his top 40 companies he could reach out to his network, utilize LinkedIn, and start making connections.

With his new resume and more effective job search strategies at the ready, he immediately landed interviews with 10 of his target companies. In the previous 6 months of job searching, he’d received no interviews and within two months he’d accepted a higher-level role as a CHRO,  in a well-regarded professional service firm in Chicago and received a 20% salary increase.

It’s important to note: screening systems aren’t based exclusively on keywords. Keywords are only one piece of the job search puzzle.

The other tricky thing about online applications is that you’re also competing against hundreds of other candidates submitting their resumes online for the same role.

Consider revamping your job search strategy and your resume to make sure both are effective. Follow-up can be the difference between 0 interviews and 10. It can be the difference between a fruitless 6-month search and a new position in a well-respected company with better pay.

I’d love to hear how your job search is going? What’s working and what isn’t working for you? Share it with me by replying to this email.

In the meantime, are you ready to maximize your job search efforts? Schedule your free resume strategy session now. We’ll review your current resume, discuss your goals for your next career move, and see if/how we can help.

Happy Job Searching!
PS. Don’t forget to schedule your resume strategy session now.

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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!

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