Industry, Topics

ATS for the IT Resume

If you’re an IT job seeker and are soon planning to look for a new job, you should make sure your resume is ready to go through the applicant tracking system gauntlet.

A new study from Spherion Pacific Enterprises found that almost half of the American IT workforce plans to change jobs during the next year. The study further found that IT workers have a higher job-seeking confidence than the overall workforce.

This means that plenty of IT workers are currently polishing their resume in preparation to begin applying for new jobs. For the most part, job seekers in the IT industry run into the same resume issues as other candidates, mainly how to fit all the information on one page and how to know what potential employers really want to see.

A recent article in eWEEK featured advice from experts from recruitment firms and job boards about how to write a resume that will get noticed for an IT position. At the top of the list was ATS, considered the most important thing job seekers need to know about.

“IT recruiters almost all use ATS to review resumes,” Michael Turner, vice president of marketing at ComputerJobs.com, said in the article. “They parse what they receive and throw it into a database and search against it via keywords, such as MS Exchange or Java. They don’t always instantaneously look at your resume.”

Usually when using an ATS, the only time a recruiter will see your resume is when they find it in a search of the system. To ensure your resume will be seen in those searches, it’s important for job seekers to use skills and keywords on their resume that match those the company lists in the job description. Skill keywords can be anything from industry buzzwords to specific skills.

“Its a lot like trying to get your site listed on Google,” Turner said. “Keywords are just as important when trying to get your resume picked up by third-party recruiters on ATS systems. Even when you apply for a job, a lot of times your resume goes right into their system.”

Kate Lorenz, advice editor at CareerBuilder.com, said job seekers should put as much as they can in writing, meaning they should list specific IT certifications accurately and clearly and include their technology focus, skills and unique abilities. Kim Isaacs, resume expert at Monster.com, said candidates should read job descriptions for positions that interest them and incorporate those keywords into their resume.

Further advice for IT job seekers includes not using a template, having a good objectives section and not obeying the one-page-only rule.

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