These days as the workplace becomes ever more influenced by technology – it feels like CV writing is becoming an art form.
I was going to write about one of the great essentials in CV writing: how you should always make sure you fill your CV with plenty of words that recruiters delight in seeing. But in the 21st Century a CV is not only read by a recruiter, but also by software applications known as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). In fact if you’re applying to a medium to large sized company or recruitment agency the first ‘eyes’ on your CV will almost certainly be an ATS.
So what should you do to optimise your CV to ensure it ranks highly with an ATS?
Keywords are essentially the “key words” that matter to the recruiter and the industry they are recruiting for. As professional CV Writers we have had many years establishing the best keywords to optimise a particular CV. Your job is to identify the words that the recruiter is most likely to use. You can get a great head start by looking through the job description and by doing research into the industry for the most commonly used buzzwords and jargon.
2. Customise your professional summary
Once you have got a healthy list of essential keywords craft a professional summary that is customised with keywords that match the particular job. This is where the art of CV writing really comes in to play and if you struggle with writing it might be a good idea to consult a CV service.
3. Beware those curly fonts!
It’s tempting to get ‘creative’ when choosing a font. Professional CVs never look good when written in Plantanganet Cherokee and will almost certainly confuse an ATS! Stick with standard web-safe fonts like Arial, Georgia, Impact, Courier, Lucinda, Tahoma or Trebuchet.
4. Do not Spam your CV!
Keyword cramming is tempting, but a professional resume does not look professional if it’s littered with keywords but lacks a cohesive readable narrative! Remember I said ‘art of cv writing?)! Also, forget trying to hide your keywords in white font – most ATS’ are now capable of identifying CVs that have been written this way and will most likely be penalised for the deceit.
5. No images
ATS cannot read images! Professional CVs rarely require images. So unless you’re working in something like a visually creative industry where showing off your skills might be a plus, ditch the images. You’ll save much needed space and have a professional resume to boot!
6. Spellcheck and proofread
Did you spell those keywords correctly? Think the ATS is going to spellcheck for you? No! The ATS will skip past any misspelled words and down goes your CV to the bottom of the pile. Spellcheck, then check jargon and then get a friend to read it through.
Never assume that the format you have used can be read by ATS. ATS can read a range of formats, but before you press send or upload, make sure that the system can read your CV. The safest format is almost always DOC or TXT.
Want a CV writer to craft a CV that not only reads and looks beautiful, but also does everything to wow an ATS? Get in touch with our CV service today.