How To Outwit The Resume Screening Software


Recruiters receive hundreds of resumes every day for a single job opening. It is a mammoth task for them to go through each and every resume. In fact, an impossible task to find the perfect fit after going through tons and tons of resumes.

That is the reason why most of the companies nowadays use screening software or the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to screen resumes. An ATS is a software application designed for recruitment tracking purposes. The software operates by keyword searches in a resume, filters applications based on the specified criteria and selects the best-fit resumes for the post.

Most of the large and mid-sized companies are using this applicant tracking system to select the crème-de-la-crème and save precious time as well.

As a job seeker, you have to make the best impression to get shortlisted by the software before your resume gets to the hiring manager. In order to get shortlisted, you need to make sure your resume is keyword rich, which will get you through to the interview.

Given below are some points, which will help you to outwit the resume screening software!

Select keywords from the job description

How can you select the right keywords when you are applying for a job? Well, for that you need to include the keywords used in the original job description. It will increase your chances of getting through the tracking system.

For instance, if any job requires a ‘Masters in Statistics’, then you need to write those exact keywords instead of writing MSc. in Stats (Honors). However, make sure your resume is not the exact copy-paste version of the job description.

Use expanded forms as well as abbreviations

Another trick is to spell out the words and use abbreviations. If you spell out a word and if the tracking system only tracks the abbreviated form, then your resume would be an outright rejection.

If you are the CEO of a company, then you must include Chief Executive Officer as well as CEO. It is a catchall and your resume will pass the tracking system if it searches for either forms.

Use word cloud tools to select the right keywords

How would you know which keywords are weightier than the others? There are certain online tools like WordleTagCrowd, WordItOut and Tagxedo, which are word cloud generators , which allows you to create a tag cloud from plain text.

You need to copy and paste the whole job description in either of these two word cloud generators. The tolls will show you which keywords to highlight in your resume.

Do not overuse keywords

If you think you need to cram in as many keywords as possible in your resume, then you are wrong! The ATS does not rank resumes, which are overstuffed with keywords higher than the others are.

It is not a good idea because this sophisticated system can sense overstuffed keywords. At the same time, if your resume is shortlisted, it will be screened by the recruiting manager, and if your resume is not written to perfection, it will end up in the dustbin before any interview.


By using the right keywords, you can outsmart the Applicant Tracking System for any job application. You also need to remember that the one-size-fits-all does not apply to resumes. For every job opportunity, you will need to create a resume that has exactly those keywords that fit the job description.

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