Monday, July 2, 2012

Online - ATS Compatible Résumé (ACR)

The most valuable service I provide to job seekers is to help them take charge of their own destiny in the corporate world.  True empowerment comes with being fully educated on the technologically that drives the job search in today’s labor market.         

How often have you heard this statement when reading guidance or talking about writing your Résumé:

‘There is no one size fits all’? Ever wonder what people are talking about?  That phrase starts to make much more sense when used in conjunction with discussions about ATS or Applicant Tracking Systems (also referred to as talent management systems).  What some may not realize, is that this phrase (no one size fits all) does not apply to the traditional version of the résumé.

However, it totally applies to the version you use to apply for job opportunities online. Let me introduce you to the Online – ATS Compatible Résumé (ACR), or the document you use to tackle online applications. The ACR is a living breathing document. You must tailor it to fit each job announcement, and it must be revised often to fit each job announcement, especially if you want the computer program (talent management system) or ATS system software to convey that you are the exact candidate the employer is looking for.  These computer systems analyze your information based on specific parameters (the job announcement or duty description) as defined by employers and HR reps. No two job announcements are written the same – thus the reason you must modify your content to score high during the screening process and gain recognition through these systems.

The traditional résumé serves as nothing more than a snapshot of your career history. If prepared correctly, only minor updates are needed as you progress in your career. You cannot possibly capture everything you ever accomplished in a 30 year career in just one or two pages, right?

Have you ever wondered why when you apply on line, the program directs you to “cut and paste your résumé here, oh, and by the way, attach your word document here”?  Quite simply, this represents two different processes. Unless the content of what you cut and paste into the program can be properly parsed and interpreted by the computer program, the pretty traditional version of your résumé will never be viewed by the hiring official. And, if there is only one option – “upload your résumé here”, stick with your properly formatted ACR Version of the résumé. Then, present your visually appealing snapshot or traditional résumé when contacted for the interview.      

There is much more to know. Ever wonder why you receive little or no response from submitting your résumé hundreds of times through online forums? 

If you have not properly formatted your ACR, and rely strictly on changing up the content of your résumé to an ASCII or plain text format with no modification to the presentation and formatting of content – a large majority of your information may be lost during the screening process.    

Want to learn more?  Reach out to me at Parker-CPRW to learn how you truly can conduct a successful, productive, rewarding job search in today’s labor market!     

Lisa Parker, CPRW, CEIP