3 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Resume for Submission

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Woman helping a job seeker optimize her resume.

It’s very important for a resume to be visually pleasing, and read well. Another factor that many candidates don’t take into account however is if the resume is optimized for submission. It’s important to remember that your resume is a file that will be one among many once you send it in. With that in mind, there are few things you can do to make yours stand out, and perform well with applicant tracking systems. We’ll be discussing three easy ways to optimize your resume below.

Check For Keywords

For some companies, when you submit your resume, it is filtered through an applicant tracking system (ATS). This system searches through your resume, and checks for keywords that appear in the job description. For example, if they want to hire someone with experience using Microsoft Excel, and your resume doesn’t have it, it won’t even make it to the hiring manager.

Obviously you want to get your resume in front of a human, so it’s important to take those keywords into account. Scan the job description, and look for any keywords that stand out. Then go back to your resume, and integrate them. Don’t make up any fake qualifications, just make sure you use the same phrasing as the job description. This will ensure that if you are qualified, you will pass the early check.

Make The File Name Your Name

This next one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of resumes we receive with nonsense titles. Naming the resume file after your own name just makes sense. First and foremost, it makes the file immediately recognizable. This will keep your resume from getting lost electronically. This could easily happen if the hiring manager is viewing or downloading multiple resumes at once.

Having your name as your resume file name will make sure nobody loses track of it. The last thing you want to have happen is for your resume to get lost in a sea of poorly named files. Make it easy for a hiring manager to spot your resume by titling it with your name.

Save It As A Document With Text

We receive new resumes all the time, and one thing we’ve noticed is every once in a while we receive an image resume. This is a resume that was typed up, and then saved to be in image without text. We’ve also received scanned resumes. We of course look through and vet all of them- but not all places do. The problem here is by saving your resume as an image or scan, you’ve removed all text.

This means all of the applicant tracking systems looking for keywords, will find none. This hurts your chances even worse than if you don’t optimize for keywords, since none are present. Also, scanning your resume could affect the quality and legibility of your resume. If you do have to scan or save as an image, re-print it and make sure you can read it. We recommend saving your resume as a PDF. This will compress the file, while still keeping the text intact.

We hope given the tips in this blog, you understand why you need to optimize your resume, and the best ways to do it. Too many job seekers get caught up in formatting, and fail to think of optimization. With that said, we’ll have a new blog on formatting tips as well, so check back soon!

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