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Ways to Impress Resume Bots

Artificial intelligence is everywhere – on our social media feeds [no, that blogger is not really hanging off a cliff thousands of feet above the ground!], in our internet browsers serving up how-to's, recipes, helping us decipher the latest international news, and so much more. You may not be surprised that AI is also helping that hiring manager process your resume! Yes, artificial intelligence is helping power how your resume looks to the hiring manager on the other end of that job application. AI considers data like years of experience, hard skills, soft skills, and geographic location. There are a few ways AI assists in deciphering if a candidate is a good fit for a certain role. There are ways to impress the bots with an AI-friendly version that includes keywords and is easy to read — by a machine.

Keywords are Key

AI parsing saves a lot of time and limits human bias! It does not consider personal characteristics like gender, national origin, skin color, and age if you’ve included them on your resume. AI isn’t looking for the year you graduated, and you aren’t required to include the information if you don’t want to. The algorithm grazes the information to pull what’s relevant to the job description. The more keywords in skills and experience that match, the more likely your resume will be identified as a good fit! There are ways to wisely use keywords in your descriptions.

Let’s take a look at a hard skill like programming languages. Coding DOJO shares one of the top programming languages of 2023 is Java. A Java Developer job description would be looking to highlight resumes that include “java” as a keyword. An AI-friendly format that includes a word that is industry-standard and a measurement is great — such as: “Java developer with 3+ years of experience.”

Section Sensibly

The concept behind AI technology is somewhat the same across most ATS, or applicant tracking systems. The algorithms extract and divide the content of your resume into sections. Once the information is divided, it can be mapped to different fields in an ATS. This makes it easier for recruiters to find a specific skill or work experience. AI technology may parse information inaccurately, so it may need a little help.

A great AI-friendly format is to include standard headers like work experience, education, skills, etc. Headers and sub-headers easily delineate the different sections of your resume. This makes it easier for AI and the ATS to properly scan and categorize your information, and thus parse information accurately.

A running list of all your qualifications could be misread, and information could be categorized differently in the ATS. For example, if a job description requires or prefers a Bachelor’s degree and you have one, you want AI to be able to easily highlight that and pinpoint your resume! When you section sensibly with clear headings, your resume is AI-friendly!

Easy-to-Read Format

The best format to ensure AI in ATS systems is able to read all your information is to use a plain text-based format or a Word Document instead of a PDF. When all your information is in the body of the file, AI tools can catch all the information they need including your contact information — even though normally, resumes include name, address, email, and phone number in the header or footer of a resume. Indeed’s Career Guide suggest you keep the information you want the AI to parse in the body.

An easy-to-read format also means leaving the boldly designed visuals for later. We all love to add a little color and flavor to show our personality, but it’s best to just stick with black text and a white background here. And, a good font is helpful! Clean, easy-to-read fonts are the best option. Elaborate fonts can be fun, but save them for your next party invite. System fonts like Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial or Calibri are all great options for resumes! A text-based format and an easy-to-read typeface both help when it comes to impressing those bots.

Tried and True Testing

A great way to check that your resume is AI-friendly is to test it! You can copy and paste your resume into a plain text converter to see if the content stays organized the way you drafted it, and the information is all there. Tried and true testing can give you confidence that your resume is logical and ready to impress!

Thanks to breakthrough technology like AI in ATS systems and other emerging trends, resumes may look a bit different. With an AI-friendly resume, KellyMitchell’s career site can match you to opportunities you may not have even considered! You can upload your resume and sign up for new job notifications today. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and connect with one of our recruiters!


Feeling resume-ready and looking for your next opportunity? Scroll through our many available opportunities and apply today!


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