Increase Your Resume Response 

You have applied to tons of positions online that you qualified for…yet no response. It’s almost as if the resume goes into a black hole.  Keep reading for ways to increase your resume response as below are some suggestions to help better align your efforts with the scanning system and increase your interview rate.

Lack of Industry-Specific Keywords

With the vast majority of resumes being processed through computer scanning technology, in order to pass the resume parsing systems and the 10-second human scan, your resume will need to be front-loaded with the right industry-specific keywords and phrases that help illustrate your match for the job.

Keywords are generally showcased in your resume headline, qualifications summary, and/or peppered throughout the professional experience section as nouns that reflect your skills and experience. Balance the keyword components of your resume with action verbs that communicate achievements, contributions, results, and value to further connect with an actual human reviewer.

The HR professional or recruiter will input certain qualifications into the system for a job. If the computer scans your resume and finds key skills, this increases the possibility of the resume getting read by a human.

Use the Correct Technological File Format:

O.K. you have written your resume, the final step is to determine whether you need multiple versions of the document based on the employers’ database requirements and how you will distribute it to your target audience.

With the overwhelmingly large number of resumes received by hiring professionals, many companies are using a keyword search engine, which helps to streamline their recruiting process; however, this may pose a problem for you. Ideally, we would all like for a human to evaluate and determine our fit for a position versus a computer.

Review the employer’s instructions detailing which formats are acceptable…and follow them. It is a good practice for you to have a format that can be uploaded as a Text file, Microsoft Word document, and/or PDF. Our office routinely receives files in jpeg and MS Works format, and scanning systems are unable to process them properly.

Though the text-based or e-resume layout removes most formatting, it is easily uploaded, or pasted into employer resume databases, and maintains the same format in all email systems.

PDF versions are highly compatible with most platforms. Carefully review the employer’s instructions to determine if PDF is an acceptable format for uploading.

The Word version/professional format is great for taking into the actual job interview.

Avoid the System Altogether: Tap into the Hidden Job Market:

About 80% of available jobs are not published or advertised. The Internet can be useful for locating the 20% of posted positions. However, tapping the hidden job market to find the other 80% that are NOT posted can be accomplished through networking on LinkedIn or targeting specific employers, and posting your resume directly to a role in their career section.

Assume an entrepreneurial approach to your job search…Perhaps you can contact the company in an attempt to get the hiring manager’s name and send your resume directly to him or her. Also, networking within professional associations is a great way to potentially secure your next career opportunity. The Internet is just one tool for job searching; the key takeaway is that you should use a multi-tiered approach to your job search.

If you need help with writing an executive resume, professional resume, or LinkedIn profile we can help. Contact us at