Reverse Engineering the ATS for Results |

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Applicant tracking systems. The ATS. Defeating it. Reverse engineering it for results. That’s what my interview is about with Eleanor Meegoda from JobStep

Making Your Resume ATS Likeable

So, my guest today is Eleanor Meegoda the CEO and co-founder of job step, the first resource for job seekers that guarantees five plus interviews to jobs you actually want in six weeks, you actually want well, job step does this by pairing the expertise in great job coaches other than me, by the way, with technology that finds and applies to great jobs on behalf of job seekers, , thanks for making time today. Appreciate it.

Thanks for having me. I’m so excited.

I’m glad you are and that means you’re ready to give people lots of good stuff.


I hope that.


Folks, we’re gonna be talking about reverse engineering the ATS in order to get results and I know there’s software out there that’s publicly available that you can order but you believe you do it better. So, how does someone start to reverse engineer the ATS into their resume in order to start getting results?


Yeah, it’s a really good question. So, I think the first thing to understand is that an ATS, an applicant tracking system is fundamentally a tool. It is a tool that recruiters and hiring managers use to help them figure out which candidates they should bring in for an interview and ultimately hire and so, I think it’s helpful when you’re thinking about how do I game the ATS? How do I reverse engineering? you think about how this tool is being used and so, if you think about it, what the way that a recruiter or hiring manager is using the ATS, the ATS, is software where your resume sits until a recruiter or a hiring manager is ready to read your resume and the rest of your application materials and so, from there, they’re going to do some things to pull up a resume and then search this doing some things. That’s the part, the first step of what you want to gain. So, anything I should clarify before I keep going, ?


Don’t you worry, I’m not bashful. So, I’m just gonna pause there for a second and say, so it’s a software. It does the intake of the resumes; it parses into fields, amazing and a couple of things in here. It parses data into fields, so it’s retrievable at a later date. So, one of the reasons I always make sure to tell people, make sure your zip code is on the resume is one of the search criteria zip code that people use on the search, no one wants to contact someone in Poland, if you’re in New Jersey.


Exactly, those are exactly. That’s a really good summary of what happens. So, when you submit your application, you’ve attached your resume, you’ve entered your information, the ATS now has your resume, depending on the type of applicant tracking system, there’s a bunch of different filtering and parsing that happens. So, the first thing is the system takes your resume, and it says, okay, yes, this is a resume, we can store it. The second thing that’s happening is, it’s reading the resume so that it becomes searchable, depending on the ATS you’re using and how the recruiter is using the ATS a couple things might happen. So, if you have applied to typically a bigger company that’s using what I call a legacy applicant tracking system, these are older applications. If you look at the URL, you’ll see something like iCIMS or Twilio, you’ll notice because it often has lots of pages, the user experience feels like it’s something out of the 90s, it’s just like the nineties, it’s just letting you know how you know you’re on a legacy system, these ATSs as applicant tracking systems.

This is when people are saying, Oh, you know, the robots, the bots that I need to get through, the autofill during the fact that in my resume, these are the types of systems where there are hard coded pieces of logic, I personally think are pretty stupid pieces of logic that are going to try to read your resume and match on a Blackbox set of terms to match your resume to the job description and then it auto filters what the recruiter is seeing. So, when the recruiter comes in at 9am the next morning and goes through his or her list of resumes, it’s already been auto filtered. So, that’s a legacy system of what happens right, if you are applying to some of some other applicant tracking system.

ATS Myths




Such as green house, or lover or workday or Jobvite, you’ll notice again, you can look at the URL and a lot oftentimes you’ll actually see it in the application URL. These systems often give recruiters a choice; they give recruiters and hiring managers a choice. Do I want as a recruiter want to be able to search all the resumes? Or do I want to set certain pieces of logic to auto filter for certain things? And most frequently, it’s yes or no thing. So, as you said, zip code, right? There is a zip code matches zip codes that I’m matching. If in the application question you’re answering yes or no questions. Oftentimes, there might be an easy lover, for the recruiter or a hiring manager say yes, I want only people who said yes or only people have said no and they might also pull in things like title or pieces of software that they want someone to have familiarity with and that says, Okay, I only want to see the resumes or only want to prioritize the resumes that match these filters. So, that’s an option that recruiters can do and then what’s most common, especially at smaller companies, because they want to review everyone and especially, I think. With this Zeitgeist of people saying, yes, we want more diversity in tech, I think recruiters have become a little bit more open.

<p>The most common way that recruiters are using these tools is actually just typing in a search, whenever they get to their day, 9am or noon, during your lunch break, they type in a search, just like you would type in a search on Google and they’re typing in the requirements that they want to see in the resume. So, most commonly, again, title or pieces of software that you�re familiar with, and then they�re going to pull the resume, that one have been parsed. So, that the ETS can read it and see, okay, is there a search term that matches and then with this newer software, it’s oftentimes not just a simple dumb matchup, oh, it needs to be troubleshot. It can be troubleshot, troubleshooted, right? And then it’ll pull up all the resumes. So, that’s kind of the system as a whole as you’re thinking, Okay, my resume when I’m applying, it needs to one be parsable by the software.


They are parsable cause it uses what type that�s not historically on the older systems, the older systems never like frames on the resume.


Exactly, so, the legacy systems, if you have colour, if you have fancy formatting, if you’re using a font that isn’t Times New Roman, or Arial, most likely because these things are old and have not been updated in some time, it might not get parsed. An easy way to know whether your resume is getting parsed across all ATSs is when you’re submitting your application and you notice that okay, it also asked like, Hey, tell me your work history and it’s not automatically parsing your name and work history on the application itself, that’s a good indication that your resume is not possible on the form. It’s not always one for one that the software that’s person in the front end is what’s parsing on the backend. But it’s a pretty good proxy.


So, the safe approach is to think that you’re working with the old ATS all the time. So, this way, you have parsable fonts, you’re not doing things that will guarantee rejection by those systems, even though the newer ones can handle them much better?


Newer ones can definitely handle things a little bit better. But I would I agree, I think generally being safe, making sure your resume is a PDF, making sure your resume is just black and white, minimizing the fancy fonts or fancy boxes, or the fancy frames or extra lines that you don’t need just to be on the safe side, right? For every additional thing, every fancy thing that you add on your resume, some engineer needed to think about, oh, how am I going to parse this right? And so, if it hasn’t been parsed or if someone hasn’t thought, how would I parse this, it probably isn’t getting parsed.


So, let’s assume that all works very well. The common belief people have about the ATS is that it’s the black hole. Things go in, they never come out, at least come out with interviews. So, what I heard you say is that for many people, they walk in on Monday morning, and are running the search rather than the system doing the evaluation.


Yep, exactly, this metaphor of the black hole, I think is a good one, because emotionally it captures just how painful this process is from the job seeker perspective. But if you go to the system perspective, your resume is going through first and needs to be parsed by the ATS and then a recruiter walks in Monday, 9am, right? Back when we used to commute to work every single day, they’re haggard, no one likes Monday and then they go into their ATS and most commonly, they’re typing in a search term they’re typing in. For example, if you’re looking for a customer success rate, they might be typing in customer success because they prefer people who have some experience in customer service whether that’s a course or a title or so forth, right. Or if you’re engineer and they’re looking for someone who does Python, they’re going to type in Python, they might type in the stacks that are most common to what they need in that engineer and then that’s going to help them filter. Do that first filter to pull up what they think are hopefully, the most relevant resume.

<p>So, now they get their stack that they’re actually going to review. So, they’ve done the search, they see, okay, maybe the top 50, top 100 however, many resumes, and then they will go through, and then they’ll skim it and read it and every recruiter is a little different, right? Some of them will get it printed, but someone might have them on the screen. But typically, it’s about six to twenty seconds per resume, and your resume is one of over a dozen, if not two, or three dozen, that a recruiter is going through all at the same time.


The common belief, I’m going to come back to the common beliefs here, you can knock them down or agree with. The common belief is one of the ways the systems evaluate people is that they’re programmed to look for keywords within a certain space, or a certain positioning in the document and repetition of the key words as well, in order to demonstrate, number one, this person really uses, I’m gonna use Python as the example. They’re really Python developer and mentioned Python three times in the first half of page one.


Yeah, there are so many applicant tracking systems out there. So, I can imagine that there might be an applicant tracking system out there that might have what I call this stupid logic, where it’s matching on an exact keyword and it’s now just counting this keyword showed up five times, so it must be most relevant. That’s dumb logic. Now an employer pays an ATS, they played the company that builds the ATSs to say, Okay, I want you to filter and my guess is they’ll look at the results and they’ll go okay, so we are getting only resumes where engineers are putting Python 12 times on the resume as opposed to telling you about their accomplishments, telling me about the cool products that they shipped. Or if it’s customer success, it has Salesforce 17 times; I don’t want someone who puts Salesforce 17 times. I want this person who actually showed me that they had an impact, what types of customers they work with, what kind of revenue they were able to bring in from upselling and from renewals and so, they’ll make the choice Oh, this ATS, this is not working for me, let me go choose one of the many other dozens, if not hundreds of other ATS options out there that either doesn’t have this auto filter, or allows me to search a little smarter.

<p>So, I would say going back to a job seeker, there probably are one or two that do this. My guess is one of these older legacy systems. But what’s going to be more impactful again, because the black hole is not just the ATS, it is this whole system, it’s getting your resume parsed and now getting it read by a real human, by a real person who is probably tired and has a million other things to do, getting it read by a real person and then having that person going, yes, I want to bring this person in, I want to bring  in, I want to have a conversation. I want to figure out how I can advocate for this person and get them hired and work with them and so, it’s those two steps so, my tip for how to get through the ATS. You want to get it readable enough that it’s read by the ATS. But ultimately, you want it to be human readable. You want it to be impressive to a human being because it’s a two-step process. So, if you want, we can talk about the types of keywords that we at job step that make sure we have and the types of tricks and tools and the guidance that I give to my job coaches to make sure that the resumes that they write and the cover letters they write are actually getting to the ATS and enabling our jobseekers get interviews if that’s interesting.


Good idea.

Optimizing Your Resume for the ATS


So, we’re thinking about keywords. You don’t want to put Python 17 times; it’s not helpful, right? Because, again, your recruiter is going to read this and go, well, what developer put Python 17 times I want to know about this app that you shipped, I want to know about this data structure and how you use that and how many customers this served. So, when you were thinking about your resume, there are two sets of keywords that a recruiter is most likely to search on. One is the software, the types of software that you use. So, what we like to do is put a section on the bottom of your skills and your interests and this is where you put the different types of software that you may have used.

<p>So, Salesforce is good one if you’re in customer support, Zendesk, intercom. If you are an engineer, obviously putting in the different types of stacks that you’ve worked with. If you’re in sales, the different CRMs that you’ve worked with, because one, from a keyword standpoint, this is a keyword that will match no matter what tense because it doesn’t change for past tense and present tense, obviously and then the second one is, this keyword is actually something a recruiter is going to read and go, okay, this person is going to learn this job very quickly, because they already have familiarity with the software we use. Or it’s similar enough that I know they can learn and so you’ve passed the two phases. So, we like to have a skill section on the bottom, have the category of the skill in case someone’s looking for the category and then have the actual software. The second keyword tip I would say is think about the title, right? So today, titles are morphing so fast. But if you think about customer success, which is one of the fastest growing job titles in this country, actually globally, customer success didn’t exist before 2001 and so, a lot of companies have something like customer success, where you’re doing actually the customer success role, or something very similar.

<p>Then if you feel that you’ve done enough of this role in the past, maybe you’ve been an account manager, maybe you’ve been a solutions consultant, but you’ve helped out on the post sales relationship, put customer success manager as your title, put it in parentheses, if you feel you were mostly something else, but you have done that kind of work. Or if you feel yeah, I can defend that I can say that I was doing this while I look at the job description of the company that I’m applying to it says customer success, it looks very similar to what I’ve been doing, put customer success there as long as you can defend it. This is this is one of the things that recruiters are going to search for to see do you have experience, and then you get into the interview can defend it. That’s an easy fix. So, I like to make sure you change the titles to make sure it’s accurate and it’s something you can defend. But it matches most closely to the job description that you’re applying to.


And those folks who do very few things that make people think. Thinking is vastly overrated, spell it out for what you really do, and as  said, it�s something that you can defend.




It’s one thing to say I have live experience, whatever that means, with whatever the item is, but think in terms of what’s defensible and don’t BS people, people find that quickly enough. How many people do you know folks that get hired for all that bs that they put on their resume? It always comes back to the core stuff anyway.


Always and then the third tip, this is less ATS specific but going back to that second phase. So, you get through the ATF, you make sure that your resume is personable enough; it has enough of the keywords so that it gets through that search. So, it titles software and then the second part is getting to the recruiter, what you want to do, as you said, you want to make it super simple for someone to see how you are relevant to the job and making sure your language is everyday language as much as possible, it’s easy to understand what it is you did because a recruiter is spending between six and 20 seconds on your resume. But they’ve just gone through 12 resumes before you and maybe 72 resumes after you and so, when they’re skimming through it, it’s not that they’re looking for specific words, they are trying their best. People who become recruiters really do want to help people get jobs, they really do love interacting with potential team members and so, they’re looking for, okay, is this person going to thrive in this role? Have they done something similar? What kind of impact have they done? Okay, let me see, my eyes are gonna go very quickly to numbers. So, if you have a metric put metrics, business related metrics into your resume, so that when you get to the second phase of this black hole, the recruiter section, the recruiter part, the recruiter can look and go, Okay, I can see the impact, I can see the title. I can see the skills that they’ve had, I see the software familiarity, got it, this person has what I has the basic requirements. Let’s bring him in for an interview.


And folks, there’s a difference between someone who’s doing something that has a $20,000 impact, a $200,000 impact, 10 million, 20 million, 200 million to 2 billion and the numbers are really what spell out what your impact is. After all business is the language of money, money is numbers. So, make it clear, make it obvious to folks what your effect is unless of course, we’re in the 20,000 categories where you might want to obfuscate that a little bit. So, you can qualify for the more experienced roles. But now they find out. You know that.


Yes, exactly. Because this phase, right, though ATS and that first recruiter review of your resume is just the first in many steps and what we are finding from our job seekers is that, for whatever reason employers are now it’s not just three steps. It’s not just the phone screen, the first interview and a final interview, it’s oftentimes the recruiter screen, a phone screen, your first interview with the hiring manager, some sort of exercise, and then maybe one or two additional sets of interviews, you’re going through five rounds and so, I think the other piece that people often forget when they’re thinking about their resume. We’ve talked about the first two things that does, one is get through the ATSs, the second one is impress a recruiter enough within six seconds that they see what you’ve done. The third thing that a resume does is it sets the agenda for your interview.

<p>Before any interview, your recruiter probably doesn’t remember what they read, whether it’s four days ago, or a week ago, and so 10 seconds before the interview, especially with zoom, 10 seconds before the interview, they pull up the resume, they quickly skim it again and they go, Hey, I want to talk about this point, this point at this point and so, when you were thinking about your resume, and you’re thinking about gamifying it, this is really about communication. This is really about okay, let me make sure that the stories I’m most prepared to talk about, the stories that show that I, as you said, , understand the language of business, I had impact. Those are at the top of your resume or top of each section, so that your recruiter is most likely to skim and find those and say, yeah, let’s talk about this in the interview and the same thing for a hiring manager, a hiring manager has often only heard what the recruiter has told them about you and I’ve only read the resume for the 10 seconds right before their interview with you. So, it’s the same thing. It’s functioning as part of your agenda for that interview that you have.


So, fascinating because I know, having worked in firms for as long as I did, maybe I read 10 seconds before the interview. I knew I want to talk to this person. I put them on my calendar for a reason and the phone call starts because I was presumed days. I got out before we all started working over zoom and I�m on the phone with someone I bring the resume up (inaudible). Oh, yeah, this is the person. That’s how I got the reminder. Yeah, they were working for so and so. Yeah, okay and us, folks, you got to remember it, this is the most important thing in the world to you. But to them, it’s one of 300 things they’ve had on their calendar, and that’ve been dropped in their lap, all that and you have to get their attention fast because if you don’t get attention, you’re lost, because you just become one of many, instead of being the standout.


Exactly, definitely


So, we’ve covered getting through machine part of this to the human being to the actual interview, and what they’re trying to accomplish during this interview. What else goes into this? That’s your secret sauce. Come on. You can just between us, come on.


So, one of the things I would say so going back to this metaphor of the black hole, why do we say it? Why does it resonate so close to home, when you’re thinking, when you’re a job seeker? And it’s because you can apply to so many jobs and not hear back, right? And you’re not entirely sure why that’s happening, you may not get feedback, you may get a pretty generic piece of feedback. There’s one other thing that I want to know is because there are two steps before you get called back into an interview. That adds a lot of what I call noise, right? So, for those of you who are statistics buff that’s the kind of noise library but the distribution of all the extra reasons that even if you’re qualified might mean that that day, it wasn’t your day, and you didn’t get that interview.

Things You Can Do To Prevent HR Screeners From Hitting ‘Delete’

So, we did a study last summer to understand on average, how many applications were people sending, and how many interviews were they’re getting and so, at the height of COVID, this is across 600 job seekers, what we found the average job seeker is getting one interview for every 25 applications and so, what that means for job seekers is you’re thinking about this (inaudible), think about it a little bit more like they’re just a little bit more of a game of chance than you want it to be and so, what I like to kind of reiterate to our jobseekers is if you’re applying on your own with a resume during COVID and you’re getting one interview for every 25 applications you send out, that’s a pretty good indication that you are targeting the right types of jobs and your resume is a good match for those types of jobs. If your response rate is higher, that means you’re an above average candidate.

<p>So even though it hurts because you did all that work, pat yourself on the back and go, yeah, I’m an above average candidate, I’m hearing back way more than most people during COVID and if you’re a little below that, that’s a good indication, okay, if I’m thinking about my strategy, what do I need to change, you need to change either your targeting, so which types of jobs you’re targeting or you need to look at your resume and go, okay, am I putting in the skills that are required for this job? Am I putting in the right types of keywords again, so, those different types of software? Am I describing the type of impact and the type and the level of work that these job descriptions are looking for? And that’s where I would start if you’re saying, Oh, I’m not hearing back, and you’re getting a lot of fewer responses than one interview for every 25 applications, go back to your resume. This is where I’d start to think about that game thing but that communication a little bit more, thinking about the skills and the matching and a level.


The number one is I hear a 4% success rate.




Sounds awful and historically, what I’ve told Job Hunters, if you’re not getting interviews, and you’re sending out resumes, it’s for one of a couple of reasons. Number one, your resume sucks, your resume, and LinkedIn profile are not congruent because they don’t have to be identical. They just have to be consistent with one another because every person in the process is going back to your profile to get to make sure that you’re not lying, because I know this is a shock, folks, people lie. The third thing is your resume doesn’t make a case for your candidacy because it doesn’t demonstrate the fit. The fourth thing is you’re kind of aspirational. I really like to do that job but I ‘ve never done anything like that before. But I really want to be my favorite one is for why I still did search, there was the person who was a produced Chicken plucker who wanted to be a Java developer, and never taken a course knew nothing about Java; the word game didn�t even appear on there. But they wanted to be a Java developer. Even all they’ve done is pluck chickens for Purdue. So yeah, those are kind of consistent with the 4%


Four percent, yeah, for jobs steppers we are considerably higher, just because we can look at different numbers and we can figure out what are some of the implicit things that players are looking for that they may not put on the job descriptions and so, we are able to put in additional keywords that are not as obvious, and we are able to pull in better stories and better accomplishments and tell jobseekers here are the accomplishments that you should be putting in and then we do that for them. So, our response rate is actually closer to one out of 15, during COVID. Thank you.


That�s great and now that we’re coming out as COVID, not completely out of the woods yet, but we’ve made a lot of progress and firms are back hiring and the stories are, I’ve seen is one out of two US employees are going to want to change jobs next year.


Yeah, it’s really exciting. I think it is really exciting when jobseekers take their career in their own hands and say, yeah, you know what, I’m not happy here or let me explore. Let me see if there’s a new career that I want to explore, a new skill that I want to build. I think that’s fantastic and I think a lot of people say oh, you know, Bitcoin or real investment. Getting a better job is the most surefire way to make more money and so, I think that is very exciting that more people are going to be looking and then also as we come out of COVID, more employers are going to be looking for a new job seeker or for new hires.


Without a doubt and what’s very clear is now that we’re coming out, we’re almost at the other end of this, it’s a time for you, for folks to recapture their careers, and take responsibility for them again. After all, you’re the CEO of your life in your career. When you outsource responsibilities for career decisions to others, it puts yourself and your career in risk as your employer, and your interests are not always aligned.


That’s so true.


You have a board of directors which can be your wife, husband, partner, kids, and dog. They’re on your board, but you’re ultimately the chairperson, you have to take these constituencies into consideration and giving it away, giving away your power to your employer is just foofy. It’s ridiculous because they don’t care. They say they care. They talk the language of care; they are so important to us. You never want them to leave. It feels like family around, all these kinds of seductions that are designed and you’re shaking your head no (Inaudible).



Yeah, I think there are employers who are great. There are employers who realize that their most important asset, their best resource is their team, right? And so how I’m constantly thinking about, okay, I have these great people, how do I ensure that they are continuing to grow, if that’s what they want to do? that they’re continuing to have the work life balance that they want, so that they’ll stay. Because if you think about, again, the language of business, they’re thinking about revenue and costs and having to train a new person is a huge cost, losing someone who has all of this insider knowledge about customers and how the business works is a huge cost and so smart employers, I think, do think about this about how do I build good growth trajectories for my employees? How do I ensure that they’re continuing to make the bare, they’re contributing to the business in a way that I can also continue to pay them more? And how do I set them up for success.

But it is hard to do as a business owner, and it is very rare and so, I think you’re right, as a job seeker, you are the CEO of your life, you are the CEO of your career and so, one of the best ways you can negotiate with an employer to say, hey, I deserve more is actually to get offers from the job market and say, yeah, I got an offer from someone else. I do love this place. I didn’t look for another job to be deployed. I just wanted to see what was out there. What other kind of career opportunities there were for me? Can you match this? Can we talk about a way to make this growth opportunity work at this company? Or you see, you know, what, actually, oh, yeah, I can get paid 10, 15, 20k more from a different job and if you don’t think about how do I set myself up so that I know the value of my skills and the kind of impact I can bring on the job market, you might be sitting on you might be letting 10k a year, 20k a year go by because as you said, you’re giving control to your employer, when in fact that is something that they don’t necessarily care about.


Most of you folks are not wealthy enough to leave that kind of money on the table because it’s not just simply one year you are leaving five or 10,000 or $20,000 behind. But let’s have it over five years, if it’s $5,000, giving your measly 3% raises where you are, and the next firm is giving you $5,000 more and a minimum, the $25,000 that you’ve left behind, plus raises. But if you’re like most people, you’re changing jobs once more within that five years, no one stays for five years anymore. For two or three years you get another $5,000. It’s $35,000. You were the loyal employee. Good for you.


Yeah, there was really interesting stat. The average employee stays in their job, I think it’s two years and three months. So, if you’ve been there for longer than two and a half years, you are really in the minority of how long you’ve stayed at a job.


And what haven’t we covered yet about the ATS system? Millions of things I know you know intuitively but what else haven’t we spoken about?


Yeah. Let’s go through my checklist. So, we’ve talked about the legacy systems, we’ve talked about new systems and how for new systems recruiters are choosing, do I set up a lever? Do I set up some filters? Or do I search manually? And then we talked about how after the ATS, they are now reading the resume, and then how you can use your resume not just for this kind of initial sales and then also as an agenda. Okay, so we’ve talked about the easy keywords, easy changes on your resume that you can make. So, those are the software skills as a title. Another way to get through the ATS if you really want to, this is for the people who love writing and crafting and problem solving. This is like a Sudoku kind of challenge and this is what our job coaches do for our job seekers, you look at what are the common responsibilities for this role that are on the job description.

So, for customer success, it might be running quarterly business reviews, or it might be being the point person for a customer or escalating things, engineering and so now you have these phrases, these phrases probably aren’t what the recruiter is going to search for. So, you really now you’re optimizing for either for the legacy systems or for those auto filters and then the other thing you’re doing is also, again, making it easy for when a recruiter is reading your resume, they can run for one. Oh, yeah, this phrase, this is the phrase that I’m looking for. This is the phrase at the end; the hiring manager told me that they want someone who’s done this. Okay, so you have these phrases, job descriptions are written in a language of their own, they’re not always clear. But now you’ve had these phrases and you go,

ATS Myths

Okay, how do I get them into my resume, so that we can maybe get through the legacy systems, we can get through some of these auto filters and definitely we can help the recruiter pattern match when they’re reading it. But what you don’t want to do is just copy and pastes the description, those bullets from the job description into your resume, right so, why not? If you think about this, if everyone did this, everyone’s resume would look the same, right? So, you don’t want to look generic. You don’t want to look like everyone else and so, there are a lot of automated resume writing tools out there that are just taking job descriptions, and then they are putting them onto your resume. Now you’re like, Oh, yeah, that sounds fancy. That sounds like business language that sounds like professional. What it does is it sounds like gobbledygook. It sounds ridiculous and again, you’re trying to get it personal by the resume, and then you’re trying to make it human readable. It’s not human readable. Someone reads that and go; I don’t actually know what you did.

Okay, so yeah you know the job descriptions, you know you’re not supposed to just copy and paste it. What you’re supposed to do is take those resume bullets, and also take your accomplishments and go, Okay, how can I take my accomplishment, how can I rephrase it in a way that takes some of the elements of those phrases, that’s why I said this is like a Sudoku problem, right? And this is really, for people who love crafting and tweaking, and you take your accomplishments you take, okay, here’s the metric that you accomplished, here’s a very short description of how you accomplish it, maybe one, maybe two facts about how you accomplish it. That’s the way you start and now you want to pattern match it to what the recruiter is going to be looking for and so, you want to pull in the language, maybe the keywords, maybe some of these phrases like point person, or escalate or advocate on behalf of a customer or enterprise customer, right?

And so, you’re just switching those out and that can help a little bit for getting through some of the crazy logic, the Blackbox logic. It might help with some of the auto filters. But really what this is doing the most, this is less on the technology and the gaming the so-called filters or robots. This is really about making that six second review that the recruiter is doing, making it easy for them to pattern match what you’ve done to what they know is required for this role.


Golden, this is absolutely golden. Thank you. How can people find out more about you, job step, if the universe and everything relates to you?


Yeah, easiest way is to find us on our website, We’re also on LinkedIn, we’re on Twitter. You can also email me, happy to chat. Yeah, I love what you do. , this is an amazing podcast, amazing YouTube channel, an amazing resource for people I love that you push your guests like me to really spill it all, be very clear. So, thank you for having me and, and excited to join you and help other job seekers land better paying jobs.


And that’s five interviews, actually good quality interviews, in what amount of time?


Where Does Your Resume Really Go When You Apply Online?

So, we guarantee our job seekers, five plus interviews in six weeks and we do that by handling the almost all of the upfront work. So, we do interview coaching, we use the information we learned from coaching you on interviews to write you a really, really good resume and cover letter, sometimes multiple depending on how many jobs you’re looking for and we then match you to high fit jobs that we’re finding across job boards and then we find those jobs, you approve them. We apply on your behalf and then because we’re playing this really smart, targeted numbers game, that’s how we can guarantee our job seekers, five interviews in six weeks.


Excellent, thank you and folks, we’ll be back soon with more I�m Jeff Altman, the big game hunter. Hope you enjoy today’s show. If you didn’t, you’re watching on YouTube, click the like button, subscribe to the channel, do something that lets people know that it was worthwhile and I’ll also mention connect with me on LinkedIn at Mention that you saw the video. I like knowing I’m helping folks and I also said my website has great information go to The blog has thousands of posts that you can watch, listen to, or read that are going to help you find work, but they’re not customized for you and that’s where I do the one-on-one coaching with you to help you perform at a higher level throughout your search. Lastly, new book out, the right answers to tough interview questions, available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle book. It couples very, very well with my other book, the ultimate job interview framework. Between the two you have a model for interviewing and answering questions that will help you a lot. Hope you have a terrific day and most importantly, be great. Take care.




JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes.

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