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Craft Your Resume with AI in Mind

With many popular applicant tracking systems (ATSs) using artificial intelligence to screen job applicants, hiring managers often end up seeing only a fraction of the resumes submitted.

That happens when resumes fall below a certain ATS score. Based on how the resume is worded, it may appear that the candidate doesn’t meet certain criteria to be considered for the job.

“The recruiter doesn’t even get to see it,” said Khaled Hussein of the rejected resume. He is co-founder and CEO of Betterleap, an AI-powered sourcing and outreach platform in San Francisco. And the employer may miss out on finding that “hidden gem” of an employee.  

What’s a Job Seeker to Do?

One thing to keep in mind is including keywords that match the job description, according to a recent Forbes article. For example, the ATS for a job ad calling for someone with experience in “client services” likely will be screening for that wording and not “customer services”—even though they’re synonymous.

However, Hussein warned against incorporating business jargon.

“Using jargon or acronyms can certainly trip up the ATS,” he acknowledged. “While some systems are sophisticated enough to distinguish specific terms, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and use language that is easy for all systems—human or otherwise—to decipher.”

He’s also an advocate of the hybrid resume, which highlights key accomplishments while elaborating on measurable bullet points. For example, it’s not enough to indicate you have strong communication skills; instead, give examples of how you used those skills.

“The resume needs to be a lot richer.  … You have to craft it beyond the bullet points,” Hussein said.

Tips for a Successful Resume

Other tips to keep in mind for crafting a rich, effective resume

  • Drop the work or career objective statement. “Objective statements used to be popular, but now we’re seeing a shift toward short summaries or ‘profile’ sections at the beginning [of the resume], which succinctly outline skills, relevant experiences and career goals,” Hussein said.
  •  Focus on experience relevant to the role. “We’re also seeing a shift away from including all experience—really, only relevant experience matters. And it’s no longer necessary to note that references are available by request. Everyone assumes they are,” he said.
  • Be thoughtful in what education details to include. “The goal is to provide enough detail to showcase your qualifications and experiences while keeping your resume concise and easy to read,” Hussein said. “You should include your educational highlights,” such as degrees earned or colleges attended. “The more minor details like GPA and coursework may be relevant for recent graduates but can probably be left off more expansive resumes.”
  • Opt for plain fonts and formatting.  “Applicants should aim to make their resumes as easy as possible to analyze for the ATS systems,” he said. “This means that difficult-to-read fonts and fancy formatting may make it harder for the system to parse out relevant experience and skills. Simple is best.”
  • Use AI with care. “AI can help optimize keywords and highlight specific skills, but there is no substitute for a well-written, human-generated resume,” Hussein said. “AI tools can analyze the job description you're applying to and identify the most relevant skills and keywords that employers are looking for, some of which you might not have thought to include.
    “Also, AI can help articulate candidates’ experiences and skills more effectively. Sometimes, we struggle to see the unique value in our experiences or present them in the most compelling light. AI can suggest more powerful language or different angles for showcasing your achievements,” he added.


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.