Get creative with your resume
In Part 2 of our series on beating the ATS, we talked a lot about keywords. Today we’re going to talk about a bold strategy rooted in keywords. I got this tip from a recruiter, after asking for her best piece of advice for getting to the top of the list.
So what was her secret?
Load up the margins of your resume with keywords and make the text white.
It’s stupidly obvious. The software systems are designed to look for specific keywords in your resume. They can still read that list of keywords, but it will be invisible to the human recruiter. Best of all, your resume now has a majority (if not all) of the keywords needed for the ATS to push your resume to the top of the stack.
Now, with that said…this is a bold strategy because some Applicant Tracking Systems have caught onto this and may weight your resume unfavorably for attempting this trick. However, if you aren’t getting any results from the tried and true methods outlined in Part 1 and Part 2 of my series, feel free to give this a shot.
In order to minimize your chances of getting penalized by the system, limit your usage of each keyword or phrase to 2-3 times. Repeating a keyword 50 times will likely raise a red flag.
Another pro tip—export your resume as a PDF to reduce the likelihood that a recruiter or hiring manager will open it and accidentally highlight the white text (much easier to do in Microsoft Word than a PDF viewer).
Wrapping it up
Fortune favors the bold. The job hunting process is continually evolving, and the adoption of the ATS is just one part of that. If traditional ATS optimization methods aren’t working for you, try something different and compare your results. Remember, all it takes is one!
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