The vast majority of headhunters and corporate recruiters use an Applicant Tracking System, ATS for short.   The ATS is a database that stores information on candidates and helps recruiters quickly match a candidate’s background to their current job openings.

When you send your resume to a recruiter, the ATS will extract, or parse, the information from your resume into their system. Essential information including your contact details, work experience, education and keywords will be recognized and stored in the ATS.

However, if the resume does not meet certain minimum criteria, it may not be parsed by the ATS, which means you will not be getting a call from the recruiter. Here are some tips to help you make sure your resume makes it through the initial ATS parsing so you can increase your odds at getting an initial interview:

  1. Use the right file type for your resume. It is best to use word or pdf, but the next best alternative would be plain text. If you use a Mac, don’t save the file in Pages format. If using Google docs, make sure you send the resume as an attachment, not as a link to the file.
  2. Make sure you include your phone number. Our initial pre-screens are typically conducted by phone, so it’s important that your resume shows a valid phone number. On that subject, if you’re serious about looking for a new job, please make sure your voicemail is properly set up.
  3. Don’t put important details in the header or footer of your resume. The parsing technology may not pick it up.
  4. Don’t use text boxes. We frequently see resumes with information set up in columns, and the ATS simply doesn’t know where that information belongs. Please just keep it simple and lay out the information on the resume from top to bottom.
  5. Avoid images, charts, and other graphics. They could confuse the parsing technology.
  6. Be sure to optimize your resume with keywords. This may seem obvious, but if your background is in supply chain and logistics your resume must say so. If the resume is not clear match for the recruiter’s job openings, your resume may not make it past the initial ATS parsing.

Looking for more resume writing or interview tips? Check SCLSearch.com for ideas, or take a look at our jobs page to see what opportunities we have available. Connect with us on LinkedIn. And let’s see if we can help you find that perfect opportunity in supply chain and logistics.

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