You probably have heard the advice that it is better to search for a job while you have a job. One does not always have a choice. However, if you can engage in an active paid or unpaid position, it will enhance your job search success. The truth is that you may be eliminated from the selection process if you are not an actively-working candidate. Therefore, including a “to Present” position on the resume is helpful. Because many recruiters and employers use resume-screening software to identify “suitable” candidates, you could be eliminated before an actual person reads your resume.
It is becoming increasingly common for employers and recruiters to use ATS (Applicant Tracking Software) to facilitate the candidate selection process. The system screens, ranks, and tracks candidates. The system’s actions are based on criteria set by the hiring employer or recruiter. Systems also generate emails with screening questions and response tracking as well as interview invitations. It has been estimated that more than half of mid-sized employers and a greater percentage of large employers and recruiters use an ATS.
When fortunate enough to have a large candidate pool, employers and recruiters may set the words, “to Present” or “Present,” as search criteria to sort out unemployed candidates. You could be eliminated before an actual person has had a chance to read your resume. Not all recruiters and employer use this criterion, but, to enhance your overall chances it is best to prepare for that scenario.
What if you are not actively employed? It is never a good idea to present false information on your resume. I repeat: Never lie on your resume or LinkedIn profile. However, it is wise to consider all types of current work, paid and unpaid, part-time or project-based, for inclusion on your resume. You may include items such as paid consulting projects, part-time work, teaching position, academic program, relevant research project, and significant volunteering roles. Dig deep to detail the scope of your responsibility and the highlights of your achievements in the role. If you are unsure about the right strategy for your resume, email me. I would be happy to answer your questions.
Don’t risk being eliminated from the process before your resume is viewed by a real person. Increase your chance of passing the initial round of screening by creating an ATS-friendly resume, including showing your current, ongoing experience.