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Employers today are using applicant tracking systems (ATS) more than ever before. The purpose of ATS is to help hiring managers electronically sort through large stacks of resumes and to filter out unqualified candidates. As an executive job seeker, you have to keep ATS in mind when writing resumes that get you hired. You could put together the best executive resume format, but if certain keywords are missing from the resume, then it could quickly be sorted away. So how do you know if you are defeating ATS or if it’s defeating you? Here are important points to consider.

Understanding Applicant Tracking Systems

ATSApplicant tracking systems can differ, so job applicants never really know what criteria any particular system has. The majority of them will pick out specific fields in the resume, such as relevant experience, educational background, contact information and other common headers. ATS can also identify keywords throughout the resume and use all the information to provide the recruiter or hiring manager with a score for the resume. The employer will have a certain score they look for, and if your resume does not pass, then it will never be looked at by human eyes.

Keywords Are Critical

Using the right keywords in your resume is critical for getting a passing ATS score. However, ATS can identify keyword stuffing as well, so they have to be used appropriately. The best professional resume writing services will help you strategically place your keywords throughout the resume, based on the keywords located in the job description and job requirements of the posting.

Is it Possible to Defeat ATS?

Many job seekers work diligently to have the best executive resume format and focus completely on defeating ATS. While it is entirely possible to include the right mix of keywords and relevant information on a resume, you have to remember that once you pass ATS, an actual human will read the resume as well. For example, if a certain job description requires a certification, you will eventually have to back up your claim that you either have the certification or are actively working to obtain it. Simply including the word “certification” in your resume may get through ATS, but it won’t help you land the job if you can’t back up the claim when a human asks you about it.

Professional Resume Services understands the struggle of defeating ATS. Writing resumes that get you hired today is more difficult than ever before, mainly because of the automation and technology available to help hiring managers sort through resumes. Our professional resume writing services are available to help you through these struggles, so don’t hesitate to contact us at any time for assistance.

* By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Find Erin at http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.