February 13, 2014, 11:45 AM — Expert Martin Yate says if your resume or cover letter don't meet 75% or more of the requirements of a job, don't expect an e-mail or phone call.
"The candidates that most closely match the job description on paper get the interviews, period," he notes.
Therefore, the key is to ensure your resume is customized for the job to which you are applying. If the document doesn't overwhelmingly reflect what's stated in the job posting (think 75%), it will fail to catch the eye of the screener and it definitely will not be chosen by applicant-tracking software.
"For some reason eight out of 10 resumes lack a target job title to give the reader (or that electronic database spider) a focus," he says. "They start with the contact information and then—without a target job title or any way to tell the reader what the document is about— plunge straight into an 'Objective' section laying out what the writer wants in an employer and then continues with what the writer thinks is important."
Step 1: Remove the Objective section. It's taking up valuable space and your objective is pretty darn clear: I want the job you're offering.
Step 2: Under your name and contact info (e-mail, cell phone, social media URLs if applicable - no address), match your job title/skills to that of the posting.
For example, if a job posting is looking for "Sr. Information Security Engineer", that's exactly what goes beneath your contact information in big, bold type.
Click below for more tips on customizing your resume to land a screener's attention.