ATS and Job SearchingIt seems like everything is out to stop you from finding the job you want. You go through job advertisements and find 20 that sound okay so you apply in the hopes of learning more, but most of the jobs seem just a bit off. You are missing 3 months of experience with your Excel skills, or you don’t have the required 10 years of experience in a 4-year-old software application, or maybe it was a mandatory certification that costs $2,000 to get and only 10 people in the world have it. Something small is slightly off, but you think you can do the job anyway.

Then you spot one that looks perfect. It describes the skills you have and sounds like work you would actually enjoy. It was almost like the job description was built for you. It’s perfect in every way. So you eagerly apply expecting to get a call back on that one.

The next day you get an automated message telling you that “while your skills are impressive we just don’t feel like they line up with our current needs.” You don’t know what happened, it could have been a million different things. The job was perfect for you and now you are wondering why they couldn’t see that.

ATS Scanners
How I Imagine Most Job Recruiters Look When They Read My Resume

You blame the recruiters, but it is possible the recruiters didn’t even read your resume. With corporate jobs attracting 250 resumes per opening, something has to be done to narrow the pile down (Turczynski, 2019). That is exactly what it is, a process to get rid of resumes. It is either use ATS scanning or just randomly throw resumes away.


Optimize Your Resume

You can go through the process and tailor each resume to the job, not knowing if they have an ATS system or how it behaves (You can try for help)… or you can save some time and build a refined general resume and maybe switch out important skills on occasion to help.

In order to build a general resume, you need to know everything you can about your current resume. You need to know how different systems view it and whether it is as optimized as it can be. The problem isn’t always a couple of keywords, the problem can be because your resume just can’t be read correctly by the ATS system.

Thankfully the Internet is here to help. 

Resume-Check looks at your resume to ensure it meets several common criteria. If it says you don’t have a section and you do, you may have a formatting issue in the resume and that may mess with some ATS scanners.

Rez Score has several uses. It provides you with a possible view of what an ATS could see when looking at your resume. It gives your resume a grade, provides a keyword analysis, and makes its best guess as to what types of jobs you would be a fit for based on your resume. See the Rez Score slideshow below.


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If the analysis doesn’t match what you want to convey, you will want to change some things in your resume to bring it more in line with your target area.

CV Word Checker looks for words in your resume that it believes should be left out and scores the words it believes the resume should have. This can be useful for loading in words an ATS scanner might react better with.



If you are looking for a job, I imagine many of those jobs share similarities. Build from those similarities and add in some additional verbiage by way of a skills list. You may revise it a few times before you get it right and that can certainly take time, but it beats revising it for 20 jobs you’ll take if you can get and one perfect job that will never call you no matter what.



Images from and

Turczynski, B. (2019) Hiring & Recruiting Statistics: Job Search, Interview, Resume Stats 2019. Retrieved from