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Three Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Interviews: How to Create an ATS-Friendly Resume

Today’s guest blogger is Keith Grafman, Founder and Principal of Creative Content Consulting. CCC positions digital identity for your Career, Dating, and Business, with a consistent presence across your digital footprint. For more information, visit:

While software automation has simplified the recruitment process for recruiters, staffing specialists, human resources professionals, and employers, it has made the hiring process much more challenging for job seekers, applicants, and candidates. Nowadays, Application Tracking Systems (ATS) are becoming continuously more sophisticated each day, and as a consequence, a resume won’t get selected to move forward and be reviewed by a human unless it satisfies a custom-programed, specific set of keywords and criteria for a particular position.

The ATS-selection process can include but is not necessarily limited to: experience, expertise, skills, competencies, awards, certifications, training, education, accomplishments, personality, demeanor and ambition(s). To further complicate this process, the ATS’ keywords(s) and criteria requirements can range from specific to very specific. For example, your resume’s usage of keywords, grammar, punctuation, etc. may potentially not be recognized by the ATS due to wording variation, such as either including or not including a word such as “specialist,” or even hyphenation of a phrase or terminology.

Even if you already have a huge network of strong contacts, and a very widespread following, you still cannot leverage the full potential of your marketability to capitalize on opportunities without an optimized, consistent presence across all digital platforms, channels and profiles.

Here are the three key ingredients in the recipe to make an impressionable and ATS-friendly resume:

  • Create a customized resume for the particular job that interests you—Read the job description thoroughly

  • Identify and regurgitate the exact, relevant wording and verbiage used to describe the desired skill sets to appropriately craft a resume that will make an impression with the respective recruiters and employers

  • Be cognizant of the particular wording, grammar, spelling and punctuation because the impressionability of your resume is determined by your ability to articulate you in a way that will resonate with them, based on their target

That said, you need to make sure your resume presents current/up-to-date (job scopes, responsibilities and accomplishments) details. Additionally, it must be organized, and look attractive/symmetrical. Keep it concise; ideally, one page (if possible), unless the extent of your experience does not allow.

Your resume has to define your relevant experience(s), note your respective accomplishment(s), and most importantly, it needs to individualize you. As details are critical, keep everything consistently formatted—edited for grammar, punctuation, spelling, wording, etc. An impressionable resume is keyword-optimized while being positioned to accentuate your strengths and best attributes.

Assuming your resume is relevant and compelling enough to get moved past the ATS scanning and selection process, and is actually reviewed by a human, it must immediately engage and capture the attention of recruiters, staffing specialists, human resources professionals and employers. Otherwise, resumes will end up discarded—whether that means ‘thrown out’ or something along the lines of “kept on file for future consideration and/or any appropriate opportunities” (which may or may not actually be the case) along with all the other ‘unqualified’ applicants.

What’s really a shame is that there are often many ‘qualified’ applicants who don’t make the cut simply because one or more of their resume/cover letter/LinkedIn/Social Network profiles are simply not positioned for success.



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