“I submitted my resume and I heard nothing. It was like I submitted it to the dark abyss”
This is not the first time I have heard this, nor is it the first time I have written on this subject but it continues to be an issue for candidates, and a matter of great frustration.
You cannot pretend that the same rules for submitting your resume via a conventional email, apply for online submissions, a fact that many outplacement resume writers fail to mention to transitioning executives.
- Pretty is not better. Regardless of what the resume whizmos may say, when it comes to submitting your resume online, sending a graphically pleasing resume may be what gets you excluded in a search. Kim Thompson, a career coach and author, writes, “You need to make sure your resume is formatted properly or it simply won’t be seen.” As career coach Nancy Swain likes to say about people who
choose to ignore the ATS formatting rules, “You might as well drive by the employer’s office and throw it out of the window. You will get the same result.” Plain text resumes are certainly not visually attractive but Automatic Tracking Systems (ATS) which are the heart and soul of many online resume submission processes, like plain text formats and tend to kick out their prettier relatives.
- Use simple fonts — For ATS submissions, Times New Roman, Ariel, Helvetica, Garamond and Georgia are among the best because they are the most recognizable. If you are submitting using a convention email, then research shows Verdana is one of the easiest fonts to read on a computer screen. It is the typeface we are using to post this blog.
- Embed keywords throughout – Keywords are noun phrases, industry terms, technical skills and competences. You should use as many of the same words the prospective employer used in their job posting.
- Customize your professional summary — Keywords are indeed important but the strongest thing you can do is to customize your professional summary at the top of the resume to connect your skills and accomplishments with the needs of the client. If the employer does not have ATS, they will scan the resume, which means they will quickly review your professional summary. It is that professional summary that will be read first and, in many cases, be the single most important determinant of whether a candidate’s resume is retained for additional consideration.
- Use PDF to transmit your resume by email — When submitting your resume using conventional email, use PDF (portable document file). This means the formatting is locked, regardless the recipient’s version of MS Word, Corel Wordperfect, OpenOffice or Apple pages, otherwise your document may be wildly skewed. Wildly skewed is a phrase for “probably eliminated” from consideration.
if you have questions about your resume, email us at AsktheRecruiter@JohnGSelf.Com.
Don’t forget to check out my Podcast on Wednesday, We will be focusing on rural and community hospitals. You can subscribe at JohnGSelf.Com or on iTunes.