If you are still using clichés or buzzwords like energetic, focused, passionate, motivated, and team player in your Resume and LinkedIn profile, you will forever remain in the big black hole of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Never to be seen again. And yes, together with the other hundreds of thousands who didn’t listen, who think they know better, or just didn’t bother study best practice in how to present themselves on the job market.
Ever wondered why you never get invited to a job interview?
If you are sure that you have relevant experience from the particular industry and functional area, but still don’t get a call, I bet it’s all about your Resume that has failed to impress. No job interview means no job offer!
The ATS is an application that manages the recruiting and hiring process. International executive search firms and large corporate multi-national companies would have invested big sums for such software. The ATS manages job postings and job applications; it organizes and makes searchable information about applicants and candidates.
But the ATS is not necessarily your friend, if you don’t understand the Artificial Intelligence algorithms that are at work behind the scene. The goal of using the expensive ATS is simply to help third-party recruiters and HR professionals to conduct preliminary search and check of keywords in the candidate profile.
Keywords are really important to you. Vitally important. If you choose the right keywords in your Resume and online profile, it will increase your chances of getting noticed and then contacted by a recruiter.
A research of buzzwords from the last five years shows a major change from personal strengths to highlighting experience and skills instead. The word “successful” is no longer a buzzword, it’s no longer a Top 10 keyword for the first time since 2015. Interestingly, it’s now a word like “skilled” that have become popular.
Remove vague buzzwords that add little value and are typically used by thousands of other candidates. Recruiters are not searching for these words anyway. Here are two examples, one wrong and one correct way of writing:
Wrong: Hardworking and highly motivated executive with strong management skills, with extensive experience leading cross-department teams.
Correct: Managed a 7-member cross-functional team of product, engineering, supply chain and sales; coordinated with four other business partners to launch an e-commerce platform within only six months.
If you want to get invited for interviews with top companies, your resume must demonstrate impact to stand out. It greatly helps to use numbers and metrics that provide quantifiable examples of your achievements. Putting numbers, periods, percentages, and results make your bullet points a lot more meaningful, since they show the recruiter how your work experience has impacted the companies you worked at.
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