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4 Steps on How to Optimize CV with Keywords
Applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software that is commonly used during the recruitment process to sort applications. Research indicates that more than 70% of CVs are screened out by ATS systems. It is therefore important to adjust the CV to fit the job description to avoid being filtered at the first stage of recruitment.
- Read Job Descriptions of Target Jobs
ATS systems work primarily through keyword and phrase recognition. This means that you should try to align your headings, key skills, and job titles to the most commonly understood industry terms that match the job description. Read job descriptions and personal specifications of your target jobs carefully for you to understand the keyword and phrases which recruiters are looking for.
- Align Job Titles to Industry Standard Terms
The keywords should focus on phrases that describe job titles. Use titles that are recognized in your industry and ensure that you use the terms that are understood by the system.
- Formatting and Tables
Avoid the use of tables, pictures, and images. ATS systems prefer clean, plain formats. Avoid using fancy fonts and stick to those that are most frequently used like Tahoma, Calibri, or Arial. Make sure your contact details are at the beginning of the CV and are not within a table or header.
- Don’t Stuff Your CV with Keywords
Do not overload your CV with many keywords and phrases as this may make it lose content. Write your CV naturally and focus keywords mainly on the professional profile, key skills, and job titles.
In conclusion, remember that the CV will be read by a human being and the system. ATS system is only used at the beginning of the process to sort the candidates. The final decision about inviting you for an interview will be made by recruiters and not the system. Ensure that you adhere to vital best guidelines in CV writing.