We’ve all been there. You pour your energy into writing a new CV. After sending it to your potential employer, you wait—and wait, and wait.
But you never hear back about that job.
There’s a reason why, and it may have nothing to do with how qualified you are, but everything to do with keywords.
It can be extremely time-consuming for employers to go through the hundreds of applicants for a particular role. So, instead of going through online applications, many employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to sift through the information in CVs to help identify the strong candidates.
How does it work? A company identifies keywords for each job posting in advance, and the ATS scans and rates every applicant based on how well they match these keywords.
So, to get to the top of the ‘good CVs’ pile, you need a keyword strategy. Here’s how you can optimize your application approach to get noticed—and get an interview:
1. Identify Top Keywords
Most companies include the keywords they’re targeting right there in the job posting. Start by re-reading the job description. If you are looking at multiple jobs, you should use this same approach for each application.
First, identify the key requirements for the position. For example, if you’re applying to work as a software engineer, you may notice the terms “Java,” “Python,” “analytical skills,” “2 to 4 years of experience.”
The more often the company repeats the words or phrases in the job posting, the more important they are for you to include in your own application. Make a list of the top ten keywords based on the responsibilities of the job.
2. Adjust Your Application
These keywords should serve as a blueprint for your CV. If you already have your application materials ready, go through and tweak the language of each document to include the exact keywords.
Keep in mind that stuffing keywords into every sentence won’t help your application. Remember to make your CV as an honest representation of your skills.
An easy way to list keywords in a relevant way is to add a skills section to your CV. Include any skills the employer listed on the job posting even if you’ve already highlighted them in other sections of your application. From there, you can add technical qualifications—especially if they’re industry-specific.
3. Use a Simple Format
When it comes to ATS technology, the simpler the format of your materials, the better.
For your CV, use a basic, black font. Work in reverse chronological order on a CV, and whenever possible, stick to generic language for headings (like Education and Skills) so the ATS can easily understand what each section contains.
Although you want to stand out as a candidate, for the purpose of this first round, you really need to match the company’s language for your skillset, experience, and interest in the job.
4. Double Check Your Work
When you’re optimizing an application, know that the magic is in the details. If the language you use differs from the keywords, the ATS won’t know you’re a match.
Go through the application and make sure you used the right form of each phrase. For example, if the job description says, “3 years experience,” write that phrase with numerals, too.
Once you’re confident about each keyword, check your application for any typos or errors. Misspelled words don’t register as keywords – it’s always worth the extra time.
By creating a clear keyword strategy and optimizing every aspect of your application, you’re that much more likely to land an interview. Do you need help in knowing whether your CV is ready? Get a FREE CV Review from CV writing professionals!N.B: DONT Miss Out On Your Next JOB. Register Your CV With US. Click Here To Upload Your CV.. It's FREE.