Get your resume past the bots and in front of the hiring manager - tips + insights
When online job ads receive dozens of applications, how can you ensure that your CV stands out? Most people don’t realize how CVs are ranked and dealt with, so we’re here to give you some insight. Let’s get you your dream job!
Perfecting the CV: The first person to see your resume is a ‘bot’, and its job is to quickly identify if the skills and experience outlined on your CV match the job description.
When you submit your application, it goes into a CRM system (customer relationship management), the CRM then uses an integration called an ATS (Applicant Tracking System), which looks for keywords and ranks your application against others. The applications (CVs) that feature the most relevant skills and experience against the job brief are generally seen first by hiring managers.
Your biggest tool in this process is research. Knowing the relevant keywords of the hospitality industry, company, and job you are applying for will greatly help in formatting your CV. Using keywords from the job description is your biggest advantage, but also knowing about the company and industry will ensure your cover letter sounds personal, knowledgeable, and professional.
To ensure the ATS can read your CV, it is important to have a simple and clear layout with the correct section headings. Consider using a plain layout CV, without images or designs. Also, use a readable ‘web-safe’ font and standard headings. Common section headings include Contact Details, Education, Work Experience, Skills and Career Achievements.
Don't overcrowd the page with information that's not relevant, your work experience should be formatted as clean and tidy bullet points that are easy to read while sticking to the facts.
The skills section is a great way to highlight your key attributes. It's also popular to have a summary or an overview at the top of your resume, but if you have a cover letter detailing this, it's okay to leave it out.
Examples of a CV that may not be read properly vs. an ATS-safe CV can be found at the bottom of the page.
It's important to remember that your CV will be stored in the company's system, so making your resume not too specific will work in your favour.
Acing your cover letter: The second person to see your application is a person!
Formatting your CV to both the ATS and the hiring manager is essential. While the ATS is looking for keywords, the hiring manager is looking for why you are the right fit for the job. The keywords we discussed earlier are essential, but showcasing your personality and how you align with the company and its values is equally important. Copying and pasting the job description into sections of your resume is not effective.
Not all positions are created equal. Just because you are applying for multiple jobs with the same title, it doesn't mean you should use the same language. Tailor your cover letter to the company culture and values. Consider how that brand advertises itself; formally, casually, or in a fun way and incorporate this into your message.
Here are a few tips on the actual content of your cover letter:
Connecting the past, present, and future. Your cover letter should describe how your present self aims to bridge your past and future, using your current skillset and career goals.
Make it personal. Writing a cover letter is a great way to show personality, whereas your CV contains more facts. Ensure that you write a letter that provides the hiring manager with details about your experience and skills that match the requirements of the role. Think about which roles and accomplishments are most relevant to the job you're applying for. Don't include roles that show little or no relevance.
Don't rewrite, tweak. Instead of rewriting the same information in your cover letter and CV, use it as an opportunity to expand on your skills and qualifications and explain why you are the best fit for the role.
Keep up to date. Make sure your professional profiles such as LinkedIn, Seek, and other social media platforms are up to date and consistent with your CV and cover letter. This will allow the hiring manager to get a more complete picture of your qualifications and experience.
Our final tip is an often-forgotten one; Follow up with the recruiter or hiring manager! After you've submitted your application, feel free to follow up with the recruiter via email to express your interest in the role and to confirm that your application has been received. This will demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position and will also remind the hiring manager that you're still interested and available.
Remember, the key to getting your CV and cover letter past the ATS bots and in front of the hiring manager is to do your research, use the right keywords, and tailor your application to the specific company and role you're applying for. With a little bit of effort, you'll be well on your way to landing your dream job!