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Resumes in the Digital Age - What are Employers looking for?

Updated: Sep 19, 2019

Being back in the job market can be incredibly intimating. Not only are there more people applying for the same job, but putting in an application is becoming increasingly digital. Sending your resume into the ether can feel like sending a paper airplane into a tornado. However, there are ways to gain a little more control over where your résumé may end up. Before applying, a job seeker should consider the Applicant Tracking System keywords, job descriptions and any specific skill sets required by the employer.

Applicant Tracking System Keywords

Before examining the job you want, it is important to understand just how Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) keywords work both in your resume and for the employer. Gone are the days when employers would sit and sift through piles of applicant resumes, hunting for the perfect candidate to bring into an interview. According to Capterra, over 75 percent of large companies use an ATS.

Now a computer sorts through hundreds of resumes and weeds them down based on algorithms within a matter of minutes. These software systems are programmed to keep résumés with keywords selected by the company, and discard résumés without them. This means that your résumé needs to get past the computer bot before it gets into the employers hands. It is possible to do this; you just need to know what the ATS is looking for. That is where job descriptions come in. This is one of the biggest steps our resume writers take when crafting a well-written resume.

Job Descriptions Need to Contain Keywords

An employer's main concern is whether the applicant has the qualifications required for the position or not. This makes looking over the job posting at hand carefully incredibly important, as it is full of ATS keywords that can be plugged into the resume. Terms like “Coordinator”, “Innovative” and “Logistics” are a few examples of essential words to certain jobs. Using the keywords you find in the job postings on your résumé can mean the difference between getting an interview or not.

Gaining a firm understanding of the qualifications and lingo in your industry is a good step to take as well. If you are conducting an aggressive job search you will begin to see repeated words across several job postings. Take note and include them properly in you job descriptions.

Understanding Key Terms

In addition, reading through a job description can help you figure out what kind of person this employer is looking to hire and what type of work environment this will be too. Phrases like “adaptable to stringent job demands” or “flexible working hours” can mean that the company is looking to hire someone who can handle heavy workloads and long hours.

Other phrases like “willing to learn” or “committed to positive growth” might indicate an entry-level position. When used appropriately, these types of words in your résumé can also help increase your chances of getting an interview. These descriptions will also tell you if you need any special certifications or licenses. If any are required you can assume an employer will not look any résumé without them.

In fact, a setting on the Application Tracking System may include a questionnaire. If you answer no to specific questions, your resume will not even be looked at by the bot. Think of it this way, if you were ordering a pizza and requested peppers and olives, would you even look at a pizza that had neither?

Specific Skill Sets

Some jobs will post specific skill sets that employers want: these are also ATS keywords that can be added to your application. These skill sets will often be a list of responsibilities or “expertise” and can be found just before or just after a general job description. They can look like “four years experience needed in ______” or “familiar with Microsoft Office,” which let you know a bit about the job and what you might be doing. Skill sets are a great way to gauge whether or not you are a good fit for the job, as well. This can help you decide whether or not to apply or how to prep for an interview.

Hire a Professional Resume Writer

Being in the job market doesn’t have to be scary; following these tips can help you get an edge on the completion. Getting professional help is another way to navigate this digital labyrinth. El Paso Professional Resumes can identify the ATS keywords to put in your résumé to help you land the interview you want. We offer peace mind and can take hours of work off your hands. Make an appointment for a free consultation today!

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