Navigating change during uncertain times can feel challenging enough and searching for a job may seem especially daunting. Yet job seekers can still succeed in finding work despite the current and unpredictable job market.
However, even the most experienced of candidates may wonder why they aren’t hearing back on an application.
One of the most common reasons this happens is because the resume isn’t optimized to get passed the Applicant Tracking System staffing agencies or Internal Human Resources Departments use to find qualified candidates.
When submitting a resume during your job search, these are the most common mistakes to avoid so recruiters and hiring managers can find you:
Typos in your email address
Every resume received by a staffing agency goes through an (ATS) parser and is separated from the email from which it was sent. This means only the attached document is accessible to the recruiter. If your email is incorrect, a recruiter or hiring manager won’t have access to your email address.
Missing digits in your phone number
Attention to detail is critical to your application. Don’t forget to make sure that you have all the digits in your phone number.
Spaces in your email or phone number
An ATS parser can’t collect all the digits or full email address as it doesn’t read spaces. For example, 4 1 6 - 7 6 9 - 1 0 2 8 or s firstname.lastname@example.org will not be recognized.
It's important to also ensure that domain names are accurate to avoid bounce backs. If sending an email application, double check if the recipient's email address ends in .ca vs. .com.
Email can be a mandatory field when applying through an Applicant Tracking System online. To ensure your resume is accepted, make sure that your email address is typed into the required field.
Not listing your postal code
Recruiters use a radial search by postal code to find qualified candidates closest to the job site first -- before going through a second round of searches. If your postal code isn't listed, you won't be found during this initial (and most critical) search.
No contact details in the email body
Remember, the email address and body of your email is often separated by the parser as your resume makes its way into the ATS. Ensure your full name, address, phone and email are not only in your email signature but in the body of resume as well.
Inserting headers or footers
An Applicant Tracking System can’t identify content or key information within a header or footer, so it won't get connected with your profile. Always ensure that you have your contact details listed with the body of your resume.
Including only a first name
Always ensure to list your full name on your application. Using only a first name will result with an error message, as many ATS's require both first and last as a required field.
Blocking out digits of your phone number
Privacy is important, but during your job search, it’s more important to disclose your full phone number.
Inconsistent or improper spacing on a resume will result in content that appears to blend together, which will confuse an Applicant Tracking system and lose your resume.
For example, if proper spacing isn’t used between an email address and postal code, the parser will read it like this: Maxwell.email@example.comT5J3Z3.
While navigating and adapting to changes caused by the pandemic, take control of your job search by staying positive, proactive and focused on your goals.