3 Reasons Why Your Resume Isn't Getting Seen

Published by
Jennifer Sethre

As a job hunter, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of applying to hundreds of jobs and only getting a call or email back from a very small percentage. Especially when you find your dream job that you match with perfectly, this process can be incredibly frustrating.

Sometimes the silence from companies can be because you are not the best fit, or they decided to hire internally. Unfortunately, we’re not always privy to internal ongoings about hiring for positions. However, a significant reason why your resume may not be getting through to the right people is because of applicant tracking systems.

In this blog, we’ll talk about three reasons why you’re resume isn’t getting seen:

  1. You’re not using the right keywords
  2. You have formatting errors
  3. You’re using acronyms

Don’t worry or feel overwhelmed because Intry can help you “beat the system” and get your resume in front of more people without you creating a custom resume for each job application. Learn how to get your resume seen with Intry!

How ATS Systems Work

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a much-used software that processes job applications and helps to manage the hiring process. Think about it: HR might get thousands of applicants for a single position, so companies need a way to filter through the first round. Depending on the system and company’s needs, ATS software filters applications based on specific criteria, which can include keywords, years of experience, education, and more. 

With the surge in “one-click” applications, employers have begun to use ATS software because many of applicants are not a fit, but it cost them merely a click to apply for the position. Now, more than 75% of companies use an ATS to help find the right candidates for the job. Unfortunately, it’s not an exact science.

ATS systems can filter out qualified candidates simply because of how their resume is formatted or for the lack of specific keywords. So that company you’re perfect for might not even see your resume just because of the ATS. 

Luckily, we know more and more about how ATS systems work, and we built Intry with that in mind. We know that you have the skills and qualifications, but it’s now about beating the system and getting your resume seen. When creating our technology, we learned some of the common reasons why resumes go unseen, so we can help you apply better. 

If you want to automate your application process, learn about creating the best resume for the job and watch out for these common mistakes.

1. Keyword mismatch

Each position will require specific keywords, but this search starts at a relatively basic level. Let’s say a company is hiring an “Executive Assistant.” They will likely want a candidate who has held this position before so they are qualified and knowledgeable. If you were an executive assistant but your resume has a different title on it, you will not pass through the ATS software. This means candidates should get rid of all creative titles that do not accurately describe previous jobs. The keyword list will be more extensive, so review the job description thoroughly. If the position requires knowledge of specific tools or technologies, make sure those are listed in your resume as well.

2. Formatting errors

Not all ATS software is updated and new, which means when some of the outdated systems input your resume, it can distort the formatting. This means not all of your resume content may have uploaded and you may be filtered out of a position unnecessarily. Using tables and columns can be especially troublesome, so it’s important to keep the formatting basic.

Label the sections of your resume plainly as well. Using “Work Experience” or “Professional Experience” is much better than a creative approach to that section, even if you are applying for a creative job. All section headings should remain standard so the system can process each one and keep you in the running for the position.

3. Trying to save space with acronyms 

While we all want a succinct resume, using acronyms is not the place to try to cut down on word count. Some ATS software does not recognize “SEO,” but it will know “search engine optimization.” You can always include both keywords by putting “search engine optimization (SEO)” if you prefer. Often keywords are the entire phrase, rather than the shortened, industry version, so while using “SEO” in the interview is fine, using it on your resume might keep it out of the filtered pile.

How to beat the ATS systems

ATS systems are evolving, and it’s becoming more and more frustrating for job seekers to beat them. But getting your resume in front of the right person shouldn’t be that hard, which is why we made the process much easier. Especially since the job hunt requires applying for hundreds of positions, creating a custom resume for each one is unrealistic and far too time-consuming. Intry makes all of this easy, so you can get your resume seen and focus on more pressing elements in the job hunt, such as the interview process. 

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