Stupid Resume Mistakes: Your Resume Interferes with the ATS |

EP 1189 Many people have resume that create conflicts with a company’s applicant tracking system. And you are causing your own problems.

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The long and the short of it is many times a resume winds up in the legendary blackhole and it is your fault. There's a tendency to job hunters have to blame the ATS... And don't get me wrong, there are many instances where it has been program definitely and winds up screaming at people who would be qualified for a role.

Often, the issue is the resume. Here are a few things that people do that interfere with the ATS:

1. Embedded headers. I said that one before, but I'm still getting embedded headers very regularly. They look lovely and that they show up on each successive page is completely irrelevant an unnecessary. That was something that was done in the day when people were printing resumes and they didn't want to lose the order of the resume. They staple them together. No one does that anymore. They are reading them off of the screen. Forget the embedded headers. Just put it on the top of page

2. Another thing that people do that interferes with the applicant tracking system is that they use shading in their resume. The shading looks lovely but the ATS will not be able to read what is within the shading. Not only that, it may outright "cough it up." If you think that anyone will then manually enter your information from the resume, you are sadly mistaken. Your resume is that.

3. If you think lines of the solution, you are also mistaken. Lines are not a solution. If anything, and ATS cannot read the words or lines in proximity to a line unless you've skipped the space. If you do want to use a line, skip a space before and skip a space after. That's also true. If you are using a slash mark (/). You need to put a space before and in the space after which is grammatically incorrect, but it has been submitted to an ATS, he needs to be there. Otherwise, they don't read those characters correctly. If you have a particular skill that is being sought, and you have 5 of the 6 letters to the ATS, you don't have that skill. Avoid slashes, avoid lines, avoid embedded headers, avoid shading.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1400 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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