How to get your resume past the robots

Summary:The bad news: digital gatekeepers are doing most applicant pre-screening these days. The good news: the old rules of good resume-writing haven't gone out of style.

These days, resumes pass through automated filtering algorithms before they ever reach human eyes. That means having to get your message past an unsympathetic digital gatekeeper. The good news is that the tried-and-true rules of producing a successful resume work as well with robots as they do with human screeners.

The best resumes have always been those that are clean, well-constructed, grammatically flawless, and get right to the point in terms of the strengths and experience. A new infographic released by HireRight shows the do's and don't's for getting a resume through the first gate -- the one guarded by the robots, otherwise known as applicant tracking systems.

The robots are programmed to look for keywords and other details in today's scanning systems. So you need to be sure to include the right keywords right up front.  As HireRight shows in its infographic, the important do's include the following:

  • Use keywords from the job description.
  • Use an executive summary, along with a bulleted list of qualifications and skills.
  • Use clean, simple (web standard) fonts.
  • Spell check, spell check, spell check. But don't just rely on your computer's spell check. Do your own eyeball spell check, re-read the document several times. Get friends and colleagues also to read it. Every time you make the simplest change, spell check it again.

Meet the Robots Reading Your Resume - An infographic by HireRight

(Infographic: HireRight)

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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