Here’s the first of 9 best practices included in my complimentary Resume Revolution! webinar (register at http://ResumeWebinar.com), showing you how to cut your job search in half.
Today, almost all employers use some sort of Applicant Tracking Systems to pre-screen candidates (or MS Office features that mimic basic ATS functions).
These systems, basically resume databases with Google-like search tools, help companies focus only on candidates that meet minimum requirements, from the average 1,000 applicants that advertised jobs draw. In addition, ATSs help companies demonstrate compliance with federal hiring laws and help them pass surprise Department Of Labor audits.
Ten years ago, Applicant Tracking Systems used to cost companies a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars. Today, companies can use them without cost – A large job board offers basic ATS access to employers. Even entrepreneurs can use features in MS Office to set up and search a database of resumes without special training.
As most companies have begun using Applicant Tracking Systems to pre-screen candidates, they’ve changed hiring practices and processes to incorporate ATS technology, making hiring more efficient.
Employers have been forced into these hiring changes – Resumes flood HR departments because job boards have made it so easy to apply for jobs, that anyone can apply … even if they aren’t qualified.
Admit it – you’ve probably applied for a job when you didn’t meet 100% of the requirements, haven’t you? You’re not alone … most candidates have also applied for jobs when they haven’t met the minimum requirements, hoping the hiring manager might overlook the gaps between background and employer needs.
As job boards made it so easy to apply for jobs, this means that the cost to apply (cost in time) drops to near zero. Even though you might not apply for 100+ jobs each day, doesn’t mean others don’t use a “spray and pray” job search method. Every additional applicant, qualified or not, reduces the chances that your resume will be read and considered for interviews.
These changes to employer hiring processes also built rewards for candidates who customize their resume for individual jobs.
Here are 7 reasons why heavy resume customization rewards your job search:
- You face 1,000 competitors: Today, an average 1,000 candidates apply for each advertised job. Even small companies get 500 applicants from a Craigslist ad.
- Employers search resumes differently than we search Google: When you and I search Google, we search 1 or 2 criteria (3 – 4 if it’s a really detailed search) and we don’t mind that we get millions of possible matches. Most employers only want 50 matches, so recruiters/HR reps search for 7 – 10 criteria.
- Odds: Your chances of matching 7 – 10 criteria using the same (or tweaked) resume are next to zip.
- Government compliance: Companies use ATSs to show DOL auditors that candidates are selected for interview by objective criteria.
- Stuck in the database: Even the most qualified candidates get stuck in the database if they don’t match employer search criteria.
- ATSs match exact words: ATSs aren’t built to match different words with the same meaning.
- ATSs don’t keyword search cover letters: Executives from the top 10 ATS companies revealed that their clients install ATSs to only keyword search one document – the resume. If you use a cover letter to show how your experience makes you the perfect candidate … you’re demonstrating it on the wrong document.
Does individual resume customization take more time? Of course it does.
But resume customization increases the odds your resume will make it through an Applicant Tracking System … so it can read by a human. Until you resume is read by a human, do you think you’ve got any chance at an interview?
So I guess it depends on your goals …
If your goals include sending as many resumes as you can, then keep on doing what you’re doing.
But if your goals are to cu your job search in half and get more interviews … individually customize your resume.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Want to do more than just complain about a bad economy?
To attend our next complimentary live webinar featuring action items to double your resume response rate and number of interviews, plus live career Q&A with Phil Rosenberg of reCareered, register at http://ResumeWebinar.com .
Available Now On Amazon: Job Search Secrets - Rethink Your Job Search Now, By Phil Rosenberg
Phil shows you why your current job search strategies work against you and how to replace them with strategies that improve your odds. Phil provides you with research - cold, hard statistics provided by job boards and hiring managers themselves, to show you what works for you and against you in the worst job market in our lifetimes.
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