How to Pass Resume Screening [Tips]

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April 22, 2024
Edited by
Camille Trent
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min read

3 key takeaways

  • Optimizing your resume with relevant keywords and formatting helps Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and AI-powered screening tools properly parse the content.
  • Using AI in the hiring process can help you structure your content in a way that appeal to both automated screeners and human recruiters.
  • Teal's AI Resume Builder with keyword matching and optimization scoring helps you tailor your resume for each job and resume screening.

The resume screening process is critical for both job seekers and hiring managers. It's the first step in identifying qualified applicants from a pool of applicants. On average, job openings receive 250 applications, and it can take between 21 and 80 applications for an applicant to get an offer. 

In other words, the job market is hyper-competitive

The resume screening process is the first step in identifying qualified candidates from a pool of applicants.

Most large companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to scan resumes. An ATS looks for required keywords, experience, and skills before a human recruiter manually reads your application. That's why optimizing your resume to pass through resume screening software is essential to land an interview.

AI resume builders can help you format your resume to pass through ATS screening systems. A good AI resume tool can also analyze job descriptions to identify the right keywords to include on your resume. Both features work together to ensure your resume can be read by resume screening tools and humans.

In this guide, you'll learn exactly how the screening process works and how to use that knowledge to your advantage.

Struggling to land interviews with your resume? Get started with Teal’s AI Resume Builder for free.

What is resume screening?

The resume screening process is important for job seekers and hiring managers. It's the process of quickly filtering large applicant pools to identify the most promising candidates.

There are a few main types of resume screening:

1. Manual resume screening

In manual screening, a recruiter or hiring manager will review each resume submitted for a role.

Based on the job description, they skim through the document for relevant qualifications, skills, and experience. This is effective for getting an initial sense of a candidate's qualifications and background when there's a low volume of applicants for a role.

F-motion and Z-motion reading are common resume reading patterns
F-motion and Z-motion resume reading patterns are commonly used by recruiters in the manual resume screening process

That said, screening and reviewing resumes in this way can be time-consuming and inconsistent when dealing with a high volume of applicants. For that reason, it's not a realistic option for large companies.

2. Automated resume screening

Many companies use an ATS to automate the initial resume screening.

These tools scan resumes for keywords, years of experience, education, and other criteria set by the employer. Rather than exclude any candidates, they will screen resumes and shortlist the ones that best match the job requirements.

While very efficient, automated systems may overlook strong applicants who don't have the exact credentials defined in the screening rules set by recruiters.

3. AI resume screening

The latest advancement in resume screening technology is artificial intelligence (AI).

AI-powered resume scanners can holistically analyze a candidate's employment history to find the right candidates, with the right skills and experience. AI screening considers subtle details like language proficiency, knowledge of industry terms, and other soft qualifications.

This provides more nuanced screening than keyword searches alone. AI systems continuously learn and improve their screening accuracy over time.

For more information, check out this guide on resume parsing to understand how resume readers ingest and segment resume content.

The rise of AI resume screening

AI resume tools analyze applicant information and data to filter and rank submissions automatically. Rather than relying solely on recruiters to manually review applications, companies are turning to AI-powered software to streamline the first round of screening. 

How AI resume screening works

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad category that includes the development of systems capable of performing tasks at a human level. Natural language processing (NLP) is a subset of AI that focuses on helping humans and computers interact more efficiently using natural language.

As such, NLP is frequently used by resume screening tools to prioritize candidates that can best “talk-the-talk” on their text-based application materials. 

NLP identifies key skills, experience, and other qualifications mentioned in a resume and compares them to the job description. Algorithms then score and shortlist candidates who best match the required criteria, automating a traditionally time-consuming task.

Large applicant pools that once took days or weeks to even screen candidates can now be processed within hours. By removing less qualified resumes from the pipeline early on, recruiters are free to focus their efforts on the best potential hires.

Since AI focuses on keywords, you (as the job seeker) need to include relevant hard and soft skills, certifications, and industry terms specific to the role. 

Once the content is primed for a resume screening, be sure to use a clean layout with consistent formatting to avoid confusing the AI parser.

Following these tips will help you understand how to optimize your resume for ATS.

How to pass resume screening with AI resume software

To successfully navigate the automated resume screening tools used in the hiring process, consider the following tips:

1. Optimize your resume for automated resume screening

Automated resume screening tools rely on job-related keywords to efficiently review candidate resumes within the applicant tracking system (ATS).

To increase your chances of passing this automated screening process, tailor your resume to the job post and include keywords that align with the specific requirements, skills, and qualifications outlined in the job description. Take the time to carefully review the job posting and identify the keywords and phrases that the employer values the most.

One of the easiest ways to identify and add keywords to your resume is with Teal’s Matching Mode.

Matching Mode pulls out keywords from the job description you’re working with so you can strategically add them to your resume and cover letter. 

Be sure to strategically incorporate these keywords throughout your resume, especially in the skills and qualifications sections. That said, it's important to maintain a natural flow and avoid keyword stuffing.

Pro Tip: List key competencies in a dedicated skills section. This allows the automated system to quickly identify your relevant skills, increasing the chances of making it to the next stage.

2. Broaden your job application scope

When it comes to job hunting, many good candidates limit themselves to roles where they meet all the qualifications.

While it's important to target positions that match your skill set, broadening your job application scope by considering roles where you are reasonably qualified can significantly enhance your chances of progressing through the initial resume screening phase in the recruitment process.

Therefore, don't be discouraged if you don't match all the qualifications perfectly. Job requirements listed in job postings are often a wish list for an ideal candidate. Employers understand that finding someone who exactly meets every criterion and are within the salary range and desired location (if onsite) may be challenging.

Instead, focus on highlighting your transferable skills, relevant experiences, and a genuine passion for the role and industry. When applying for positions where you don't meet all the requirements, use your resume and cover letter to showcase your adaptability, willingness to learn, and potential to thrive in the role. Emphasize your accomplishments and experiences that demonstrate your capability to excel in a similar position, even if it is in a different context or industry.

By broadening your job application scope, you increase your chances of making it past the initial resume screening phase and open yourself up to new opportunities and potential growth.

3. Enhance resume readability for human and computer review

Use proper resume formatting techniques to enhance readability for automated resume screening tools and human review.

Select an ATS-friendly template and structure that facilitates easy and effective resume screening and parsing during the resume review stage of the recruitment process.

With these strategies, you can optimize your resume to effectively navigate the ATS and automated resume screening processes, thereby increasing your chances of advancing.

Teal's AI-powered Resume Builder can help with all of these steps to pass resume screening. Its key features include:

Matching Mode: This tool scans job descriptions and highlights the most relevant candidates and keywords you should include in your resume. It shows you exactly what terms to focus on.

Analysis Mode: This feature optimizes your resume formatting, structure, and presentation based on best practices. It makes your resume look clean and professional.

Built-in resume templates: Teal has a library of ATS-friendly resume templates optimized to pass screening.

AI writing assistance: Teal's AI writing assistant helps you customize your resume summary and bullet points using keywords.

Teal's Resume Builder increases your chances of passing resume screening and landing more interviews. The AI matching and analysis modes make the process easy.

Tips for using an AI resume builder to pass resume screening

Getting past resume screening can feel daunting, but using an AI resume builder makes it easier.

Here are some tips for leveraging Teal's capabilities to pass both manual and automated screenings:

1. Start with a resume template and leverage Design Mode.

With Teal, you can import your LinkedIn profile or existing resume into a resume template. Then, you can customize every aspect of your resume with Design Mode, giving you with an ATS-friendly resume from the start.

2. Apply Matching Mode across multiple job applications.

Don't just use it for one application. Continuously improving your resume with Teal's AI ensures you have the right keywords for every submission.

3. Run your resume through Analysis Mode.

This will optimize your resume's formatting, structure and presentation for both human and software resume screenings. Teal's AI provides suggestions to improve readability, highlight important information, and make your resume aesthetically pleasing.

4. Leverage the resume analysis to fix errors.

Teal not only suggests improvements but also identifies errors that could get your resume rejected, like spelling mistakes, incorrect dates, and formatting inconsistencies.

5. Keep improving with each application.

Every time you apply for a new role, run your updated resume through Teal. This allows you to continuously refine it and make it stronger for the next screening.

6. Get more interviews.

By optimizing your resume with Teal, you drastically increase your chances of passing screenings. This means you'll get more interview opportunities and be far more likely to land the job.

With some strategic effort and the help of Teal's AI Resume Builder, you can feel confident that your resume will pass both human and software screenings and get you the interviews you deserve.

How to use Matching Mode to optimize for resume screening

Teal's Matching Mode feature helps you optimize your resume keywords based on a specific job description. It uses advanced AI to analyze the job posting and identify the most important skills, qualifications, and requirements.

Matching Mode works by scanning your existing resume content and comparing it against the target job description.

Based on this analysis, Matching Mode will highlight keywords in your resume that align with the role. It also suggests new keywords you can add to boost your application's match score.

Matching Mode highlights the best keywords in job descriptions for your resume.

The key benefit of Matching Mode is that it rapidly improves the relevance of your resume to the job. Ensuring critical keywords are included increases the chances of your resume being made through automated screening systems as recruiters immediately see you have the required competencies.

Example use case for Matching Mode:

If you are applying for a Digital Marketing Manager role, Matching Mode will highlight all occurrences of relevant terms like "SEM", "Marketing", "Automation" etc. 

It identifies where your experience matches the job criteria.

The tool also recommends adding any missing keywords from the job description you should include in your resume, such as "campaign budgeting," "lead generation," or "CRM platforms."

Matching Mode significantly improves your match score by optimizing your resume vocabulary for each specific application. This shows you understand the industry, job requirements and are a good fit, helping you pass initial resume screenings and land more interviews.

How to use Analysis Mode to optimize for resume screening

Teal's AI Resume Builder's Analysis Mode focuses on optimizing your resume formatting and presentation to impress human screeners.

Analysis Mode scans your resume content and makes enhancements based on best practices for resume design. It adjusts margins, fonts, headings, and spacing to create a clean, consistent, aesthetically pleasing layout.

Key benefits of Analysis Mode for improving your resume for human screeners:

  • Consistent formatting: Analysis Mode standardizes formatting elements like bullet points, dates, and section headers so your resume has a uniform appearance. This makes it easier for recruiters to scan and digest your resume content.
  • Ideal font choices: The AI selects font styles and sizes optimized for readability. This ensures your resume is legible and recruiters can easily focus on the important details.
  • Effective use of white space: Analysis Mode inserts white space between sections and content blocks to improve scanability. Recruiters can quickly identify key information.
  • Professional structure: Your resume content will be reorganized into standard sections like Work Experience, Education, Skills. This structure aligns with recruiter expectations.
  • Error correction: Any formatting inconsistencies, odd alignments, or stylistic errors are automatically fixed so your resume looks polished.

Optimizing these visual elements makes your resume easier for both humans and tools to scan.

Recruiters can efficiently review your resume without getting distracted by messy formatting. Analysis Mode transforms your resume into a professional, recruiter-friendly document optimized for screening.

Optimize your resume for screenings

Getting your resume past the initial screening stage is critical to landing an interview and job offer.

Resume screening has become an integral part of the hiring and recruiting process now, with the majority of companies using some form of automated filtering software to handle the high volume of applicants.

While this can seem daunting, understanding the resume screening process and leveraging tools like AI resume builders can significantly improve your chances.

It comes down to formatting your resume correctively and optimizing it with relevant keywords and skills.

Teal's AI-powered resume builder makes this easy to create a resume tailored to each job description. The Matching Mode feature highlights the terms you need to include, while the Analysis Mode optimizes formatting, ensuring your resume makes it past software screens and impresses human reviewers.

There's no need to fear resume screening. Now that you know how it works, you know how to get your resume past resume screening software and recruiters alike.

Get started with Teal's AI Resume Builder today and land the job you deserve. With the right preparation, you can position yourself as a prime candidate.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is resume screening done?

In manual resume screening, recruiters review each resume against job description requirements. Automated screening leverages applicant tracking systems (ATS) to quickly scan resumes for specific keywords and criteria, ranking candidates efficiently, though sometimes at the expense of subtle details. Generally, ATS software will prioritize stronger candidates without rejecting anyone outright, and a human will review all candidates (beginning with the prioritized profiles) before making an offer. 

How can I pass a resume screening tool?

Screening periods extend when dealing with a large pool of applications, often taking weeks for recruiters to sift through hundreds of resumes.

Entry-level roles typically attract high volumes of applications, resulting in longer screening times, while senior or executive roles, attracting fewer candidates, are screened more rapidly. Manual screening methods are considerably slower compared to automated tools, with AI-powered software capable of screening resumes within seconds. Finally, the urgency of hiring can accelerate the screening process.

How can I pass a resume screening tool?

To enhance your resume for AI screening, use keywords that align with the job description, use a clean and consistent format, quantify accomplishments with metrics, emphasize recent job experiences, meticulously check for typos and grammatical errors, submit your resume in both PDF and Word formats for readability and formatting protection, and tailor your resume specifically for each job application to avoid rejection.

Nathan Thompson

Nathan is a professional content marketer who's been lucky enough to write for some of the best SaaS brands on the planet, including Twilio, Trello, OptinMonster, TrustPulse, and more. When he's not obsessing over performance metrics, Nathan spends most of his time wrestling around with his kids.

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