The 10 Best Note-Taking Apps in 2019 – Evernote, Notion, and More

“The exam will be based primarily on the things we discuss in class. Not a lot from the textbook.”

The bell rings and your professor gives the class a wink as you get up for the next class.

Thank goodness you’re the type of student who goes to every class.

The only problem is that your professor spits words faster than most mainstream rappers.

How are you supposed to keep up?

Googling “best app for taking notes for school” doesn’t help much.

google search

That’s why you’re reading this. In this post, you’ll learn the pro’s and con’s of each note-taking app so you can decide what’s best for you and your needs.

And with that, let’s get into…

The Top 10 Note-Taking Apps of 2019

1. Evernote


Overview: Evernote is a cross-platform note-taking app that’s great for processing hand-written notes and clipping articles from the web. The price, however, could be prohibitive on a student budget.

Compatibility: Browser, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS


  • Multiple file formats. If you’re on a paid plan, Evernote can hold anything your professor throws at you: PDF’s, PowerPoints, the 3 different sheets of requirements for one project. One fun extra: If you paste a Google Docs link, Evernote creates a Google Drive icon in-line and changes the URL to the name of the doc.
  • Scanner for mobile. You can use Evernote as a scanner to take photos of pages of books that when you don’t want to pay for photocopying. It also has optical character recognition so the correct John Mayer meme will appear when you search for “tremendously unintelligent”.
  • Web clipper for browsers. Great for saving those New York Times articles that are hidden behind a paywall so you can use them for your essay later. You can pick how much of the page you want to capture: everything, just the article text, or a highlighted selection of text.


  • Not a lot of organization. Imagine your study desk: You have notebooks lying around that contain class notes, random doodles, and frustrated journal entries. You can pile up semi-related notebooks into stacks. You can put sticky notes or flags into pages of the notebook that contain certain topics you want to refer to. That’s the extent of organization with Evernote: stacks, notebooks, notes, and tags.
  • No Markdown support. Markdown isn’t just for note-taking; it’s for faster writing, too. I use Markdown to write anything that goes on the web. And sometimes I use it to write essays for school, too. Sadly, while Evernote is my research repository, it’s not a tool I use to do the actual writing.
  • Pricey. If you use Evernote to scan documents and save research papers like I do, the 60 MB included in the free plan won’t cut it. And if you want to use it with more than 2 devices or use optical character recognition, you have to go Premium. At least students get 50% off Premium for a year.

2. OneNote

microsoft onenote

Overview: Microsoft’s free cross-platform note-taking app gives Evernote a run for its money, though the interface leaves something to be desired.

Compatibility: Browser, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS


  • Totally. Free. It has everything Evernote can do, but there’s no premium tier. So you get the full feature set out of the box.
  • On basically all the platforms (for free). Just had to emphasize this: With OneNote, you get unlimited devices — a feature that other note-taking apps, like Evernote and Bear, keep behind a premium subscription.
  • Freeform. Unlike Evernote, you can put text boxes everywhere on screen for OneNote. You can draw. You can even *gasp* change the background to look like a ruled notebook! (Although for some reason, I can never make the words align perfectly to the lines. This bothers me).


  • Even less organization than Evernote. It lacks note sorting options, such as sorting notes by newest created or newest modified.
  • Messy interface + Limited tagging capabilities (although it lets you drill down a couple levels deeper). With OneNote, you have notebooks and dividers within notebooks. Then you can also indent notes within notes. But it’s all over the user interface: notebooks on the left, dividers up top, then notes on the right. I’m a messy note-taker myself, but c’mon.

3. Bear


Overview: Bear features powerful Markdown capability and an excellent writing experience. The only downside is its lack of Windows support.

Compatibility: Mac, iOS, Browser (soon)


  • Hybrid Markdown editor. You don’t have to imagine what your formatted Markdown will look like after you write because Bear formats text as you type. SUCH a helpful feature.
  • Simple organizational system. Using “#” and “/”, Bear lets you tag each note and nest those tags within each other. #NestedHierarchy
  • Archive feature. A small but time-saving feature. Archiving a note takes it out of search and organization without deleting it. This feature is for you if you can’t let go of things that don’t spark joy.
  • Clean writing experience. Bear looks good out of the box — writing is readable, simple, and clean. The Premium version gets you a half dozen free themes that look even slicker.


  • Just Mac and iPhone. If you have a Windows setup … Sorry.
  • Limited organization After a few weeks of using Bear, I started bumping up against the limitations of its #-and-/ organization system. This pushed me to try out other note-taking apps (I ultimately landed on #2 on this list).

4. Apple Notes

apple notes

Overview: Apple Notes offers solid organization and formatting features, though it lacks Markdown support and is (unsurprisingly) only for Apple devices.

Compatibility: iOS, OSX


  • Totally. Free. YAY!
  • Good-enough formatting tools. You get the usual bold, italics, and fonts.
  • Allows cross-platform editing via the browser. No need for Google Drive/Dropbox workarounds. Just log in to your iCloud account from a browser and you can pull up your notes on a PC.
  • Can create nested lists of hierarchical folders. This is surprising, given that some paid apps don’t have this feature. Well played, Apple.


  • No hybrid Markdown. You can’t have it all in a free tool, can you?

5. Google Keep

google keep

Overview: Google Keep offers a basic, cross-platform note-taking app that plays well with other Google tools. The only downside is its lack of organization features.

Compatibility: iOS, Android, Browser


  • Totally. Free. YAY!
  • Available on every platform. Thanks to your Gmail account, you can access your Keep notes from your old iPhone 5S even if you drop your current Android in the toilet.
  • Simple. Imagine how you use sticky notes, and Keep will make sense to you — you write thoughts down, stick it in a place you’ll remember, then (ideally) transfer it somewhere permanent. Keep even looks like a wall of stickies.


  • No hierarchical organization. There’s only one level of tags. A design trade-off by the Keep team to stick (no pun intended) to their vision for the app, but a trade-off none the less.

6. Notion


Overview: Offers a powerful, database-driven note-taking experience that’s unlike most apps out there. Free account is basically just a demo, however.

Compatibility: Mac, iOS, Android, Windows, Browser


  • Flexible pages. Notion has a template engine that allows you to turn pretty much anything into an easily-duplicated template, including a multi-layered collection of pages. It also has great media embedding and previewing tools, including a gallery view for photos and videos.
  • Powerful tables. Tables in Notion aren’t just charts; they’re databases. Think of Notion’s databases as Google Docs + Google Sheets: Every row in a table is its own Notion page that you can go into and update.
  • Nested hierarchical organization. You’re probably tired of this. But Notion does this. You can even turn a set of text into a dropdown so you can roll them up when you want non-immediate information out of the way.
  • Hybrid editor. Notion lets you write in Markdown or use normal keyboard shortcuts and UI elements to format your text.


  • Free account is really just a demo. A free account gives you 1,000 free blocks but they go FAST. The premium Personal account is $4 per month. (But then again, Evernote charges $7.99/month, so maybe I should stop complaining).
  • Quirks in the editor due to the block system. Unfortunately, Notion falters heavily in the formatting department, and it’s all thanks to their block system. Every paragraph is a block, and each block can be moved around, changed into different elements, labeled, and colored. Unfortunately, once you select beyond one block, you’re now selecting blocks, not text. For now, it’s merely an amazing data storage app, but it’s a below-average writing app. (Notion team: If you’re reading this, maybe you could let us toggle between block mode and writing mode, or make these modes play nicer together, like Medium?)

7. Standard Notes

standard notes

Overview: Standard Notes takes security seriously and has powerful search features. The only downside is its lack of in-app image hosting.

Compatibility: Browser, Mac, Windows, Linux (!!!), iOS, Android


  • Most-security-focused. Everything you write is encrypted by default and only you can access it.
  • (Kinda) Free. Plain text editor, however, upgrading to the extended version gives you access to a Markdown editor, a rich text editor, and a code editor.
  • Editor changes per note. You can choose if you want the Markdown, rich text, or code editor on a note-by-note basis.
  • Powerful search. Custom tags are infinitely nestable, like how Bear lets you tag notes with a “#” and then add tags within that parent tag with a “/”. You can also define custom searches based on different search criteria and save them custom searches.
  • Supports all devices. Including Linux. 🙌


  • Limited image support. It can’t host in-app. You have to save your images elsewhere before you can save it in the app.
  • Can’t drag-and-drop notes between folders and tags. 🙁

8. Slite


Overview: Slite offers the best Markdown editing experience we’ve found, and the free version offers enough storage for most students. The interface still leaves something to be desired, however.

Compatibility: Browser, Mac, Windows, Android, iOS


  • Free (for most students). Unlimited private notes, and 50 shared notes per months on the free account. This is perfectly usable for most students.
  • Best hybrid Markdown text editor of any app on this list. Aside from Dropbox Paper, that is. The editor formats the text as soon as you apply the Markdown syntax. It also lets you embed images, videos, and tables.
  • Table of Contents view. This lets you jump around and zoom into the different headings of your document. (Rare in a note-taking app).


  • Nested hierarchy. Slite has “channels” and have “collections” within each channel (think: Evernote stacks and notebooks). You can nest collections infinitely, but you can only sort-by-recency on the channel level.
  • User experience. Not as fast as some other platforms, but it’s getting better. Initial CIG tests of Slite were frustrating. Although the features were amazing, the UI was painfully slow and the formatting didn’t appear right away. The devs have done a lot to improve things since then, however, and it’s now snappy enough to make the list.

9. Ulysses


Overview: Ulysses is great for both note-taking and writing long-form essays or articles, though it lacks a free version and only works on Apple devices.

Compatibility: iOS and OSX


  • Best organizational app. Ulysses has the fabled nested, multi-level hierarchical organization that we want. It can also sort your notes by date created or modified. It also has different views, like an Inbox that holds new, yet-to-be-sorted notes. You can also create custom filters that sort notes within each folder.
  • A fully-featured writing app. If you want an app that you can use throughout your entire writing process from research to writing and printing, then Ulysses is your pick.
  • Focus mode. Many authors write books in Ulysses. But unlike some other heavy-duty writings apps, Ulysses gets out of your way with its Full Screen focus mode.
  • Customizable. Ulysses has themes, including Dark Mode. You can also choose from several different markup styles and publishing formats – it’s really quite flexible.
  • Publishing to WordPress (including images!) Ulysses is the only app that can handle my full blogging workflow. After writing, editing, and formatting an entire blog post within Ulysses, I don’t have to log into my WordPress dashboard to publish it anymore. Ulysses allows me to format images, tags, categories, and meta-data and upload all of them from the app.


  • Pricey. It’s $5/month with no free plan, but you can apply for a student discount for 6-12 months and get it down to $1.83/month.
  • Mac and iOS only. Same issue as Bear, the Ulysses app is an Apple ecosystem-exclusive. But if you just want to edit your files on a Windows computer, you can save files in a synced Google Drive or Dropbox folder and then edit the rich text file it provides.

10. Typora


Overview: Typora is highly customizable and works on all major operating systems, though it lacks online and mobile apps for working on the go.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux


  • Free (for now). It’s in beta mode right now so it might cost $$ in the future.
  • Hybrid Markdown editor. It formats text as you type and it’s faster than Slite.
  • Focus Mode. It dims the text you’re not currently working on.
  • Table of Contents mode. Like Slite, it allows you to zoom into headings and outlines.
  • Themes. LOTS of themes that you can customize with CSS — a language that lets you dictate exactly how you want your content presented.
  • For Windows, Mac, and even Linux! All the desktops!


  • No app storage. Since it’s just a Markdown editor, Typora doesn’t store notes in the app. Files are actually stored in your computer’s file system, meaning you can’t move notes around in the app.
  • Desktop-only writing app Typora doesn’t have a mobile app, but you can always complement it with a Markdown-editor mobile app, like iA Writer.

The Best Note-Taking App: Our Winners

App Free Version? (Yes/No) Full Version Price
Evernote Yes $7.99 / month ($3.99 / month for students)
OneNote Yes N/A
Bear Yes $1.49 / month (or $14.99 / year)
Apple Notes Yes N/A
Google Keep Yes N/A
Notion Yes $4 / month
Standard Notes Yes $9.99 / month (or $49.99 / year)
Slite Yes $6.67 / month
Ulysses No $5 / month ($1.83 / month for students)
Typora Yes N/A

So what’s the best note-taking app out there?


It depends on what your needs are, so we broke up the winners into 3 different categories:

  • Writing Experience
  • Organization
  • General Note-Taking

Best Writing Experience

Typora’s clean UI, hybrid Markdown editor, and quick-look table content view gives it the most pleasurable writing experience, across all the desktop platforms.

Runner-up: Slite has a great hybrid Markdown editor, too, and is arguably better than Typora at organization. But it’s still a bit too slow and buggy to take the top spot.

Best Organization

Ulysses. We don’t even have a runner-up for this category because nothing comes close. Its views, custom searches, filters, and tags are all designed to help you keep all your notes and writing organized.

Best General Note-Taking App

While seeing the green elephant logo no longer sparks joy in me, Evernote is still the top pick for most people. Its vast feature set ensures that it does everything well enough and has the fewest quirks (even though it doesn’t have Markdown support — a MAJOR quirk).

It’s a great tool to store your research and school files (and memes!). Plus, it’s free if you use only two devices.

Full disclosure: I used it for the majority of my post-secondary student life but only because I didn’t have the time to explore a better alternative.

A couple of cross-platform runners-up are Standard Notes and Notion. Notion, in particular, came dangerously close to taking the top spot because of its more powerful database and templating features. Again, Slite would also be in this list if it was faster.

For Mac + iOS users, go for Bear if you don’t use tables a lot, and Apple Notes if you do. While Ulysses is the top-of-the-line option and my (Roxine’s) personal pick, it’s built for serious writers and probably not worth the 4x cost over Bear for what most note-takers need.

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Some Other Things to Consider When Choosing a Note-Taking App

If you’re checking out an app that isn’t on this list, here are some of the criteria you should consider when deciding which app to use as your second brain.

Hybrid Markdown Support

As a student, you need to take notes fast. When I was still in school, I learned Markdown — a syntax that let me format my notes as I typed. Because of this, I recommend prioritizing apps with hybrid Markdown support. This feature lets you see what the text looks like formatted as you’re typing. This way you can take down bullet points, thoughts, lectures, and talks quickly without your fingers leaving the keyboard.

Even if you don’t know how to use Markdown yet, having an app that lets you use it if you want to will encourage you to learn it. And when you do, there’s no looking back.

Organization: Nested Hierarchies

You need a way to separate, organize, refer to each class’s files as you write. Because of this, we didn’t include apps that didn’t have a file-browsing panel. This is why Google Docs, Dropbox Paper, and Microsoft Word don’t make the list — they’re pure word processing, not note-taking apps.

More specifically, you want an app that lets you create nested hierarchies within that file browser — folders within folders within folders. Like this:

  • Stats 101
    • Stats 101 — Notes
      • Course Files
        • Course Outline/Syllabus
        • Readings
      • Textbook Notes
      • Lecture Notes
        • Lecture #1
        • Lecture #2
        • Lecture #3
    • Stats 101 — Assignments
      • Project #1
      • Project #3
      • Final Project

You also need a way to quickly search through your notes. This is for those writing sessions when you need to quickly search up a paper to reference before your train of thought ends. Having custom searches built into an app makes sure you can access all your files for different purposes, whether you need to study for a test or fire off a quick note for the current class.

Take Notes Your Way

There are a lot of note-taking apps out there. And as with most recommendations, you have to figure out what works for you.

I hope that this list will help you decide on your note-taking app, whether it’s on this list or not.

Image Credits: featured

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What? Asked A Question During an Interview & I Didn’t Know The Answer!

In this week’s episode of “Well This Happened”, we want to know what you would do if you were asked a question in a job interview and you didn’t know the answer!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

If you want to enter for the chance to win one of our FREE memberships, be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel and hit the bell to get notified each time a new “Well This Happened” episode is out. To enter, simply comment which answer you think is correct in the comments below the video on Youtube!

To help choose next week’s topic, scroll down to the bottom and cast your vote!

Asked a Question During an Interview & I Didn’t Know The Answer [Part 1]

A: Laugh It Off, Thinking It Was A Joke.

B: Explain That You’re Not Really Sure How To Answer The Question But You’d Be Happy To Follow Up After Doing Your Research.

C: Smirk, But Take Some Time To Consider The Question And Confidently Answer It As Best As You Can.

D: Ask Why The Question Is Relevant To The Job.

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Excuse Me?! Here’s How To Handle A Boss Who Micro-Manages You To An EXTREME

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who’s working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn’t you say?

Kevin was getting fed up with being highly crutinized all the time but wasn’t sure what his next step should be, you can learn more about Kevin’s dilemma in our first video. Check it out here.

Watch the video below to find out what to do in this frustrating situation!

Manager Watches Me On Camera & Monitors My Emails [Part 2]

Have an uncomfortable situation at work or in your job search that you aren’t sure how to deal with? Let us know by emailing Also be sure to check back in regularly as we will be posting a new awkward experience weekly and if you guess right by posting a comment on our Youtube Channel you might WIN A FREE YEAR inside our program!

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5 Questions: Building Strengths, Standing Out, and Liking Reading (Ep. 261)

Another 5 questions episode has arrived, so let’s all open up our gift bags to see which delightful questions we’re going to hear about this week.

Oh, look! It’s these ones:

  • As a general rule, should I play to my strengths or work on my weaknesses?
  • Excluding grades and volunteering, how can i make myself stand out as a unique person?
  • I have ADHD and a severe dislike for reading. Any ideas on how to start changing this?
  • How did you choose what to put on your impossible list?
  • I want to work in a place where I know I’ll develop skills for the career I want, but there aren’t many direct opportunities that relate to it. Only looking for jobs in a library severely limits my options. What types of jobs can I look for that would still be useful for my career?

If you have any questions you’d like us to answer on the podcast, let us know through email, The College Info Geek Community on Reddit, our Instagram (Thomas | Martin) or Twitter (Thomas | Martin) accounts, or anywhere else you can think of.

Things mentioned in this episode:

This week’s episode is sponsored by:

  • FreshBooks: Accounting and invoicing software that automates your tasks and lets you get back to doing your real work. Get your first 30 days free by going to and entering College Info Geek in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
  • Hover: Your personal brand is important, and it starts with your domain name. Get 10% off your first domain name purchase by going to

Other things we mentioned in this episode:

Want more cool stuff? You can find all sorts of great tools at my Resources page.


  • 0:06:16 – Playing on your strengths or working on your weaknesses
  • 0:20:40 – Making yourself stand out
  • 0:25:39 – Sponsor: Hover (Buying a domain name)
  • 0:27:53 – Sponsor: FreshBooks (Managing your invoices)
  • 0:29:45 – Making yourself stand out (continued)
  • 0:35:04 – How to start reading more
  • 0:51:42 – How Thomas chooses the challenges on his Impossible List
  • 0:57:03 – Building towards your intended career
  • 1:01:37 – Conclusion

If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! It’s easy, you’ll get new episodes automatically, and it also helps the show gain exposure 🙂 You can also leave a review!

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5 Questions: Building Strengths, Standing Out, and Liking Reading

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How To Get Past The Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Do you really understand how ATS work?

Here’s what you need to know about Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) so that your resume actually gets seen by recruiters.

How To Get Past The Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

There is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about how ATS work.

Almost every company (large and small) uses this technology to help them store, process and evaluate candidates.

My hope is that by reading these comments, you will be better able to submit a keyword, ATS-friendly resume and your phone will start ringing.

This is the question I asked on LinkedIn and tagged some of my career colleagues to tap into their experiences and training on ATS.

In order to be successful landing interviews, job seekers need to understand how ATS work.

What is your best tip for helping applicants get past the robots reading their resume?

44,000 views later, this post has real gold in it.

But reading comments (especially when there are over 140 of them) gets difficult. And it’s nearly impossible to find this article after a couple of weeks. But here is the link.

How To Get Past The ATS

Here are the top 16 tips for getting past the ATS.

1. First, avoid the ATS

Many many career experts chimed in with the same advice- avoid the ATS!

Data shows that you only have a 2% chance on landing an interview when you apply online. On the other hand, referrals make up 40% of all hires (the largest channel by far).

I think 99% of job seekers would say that they don’t feel their resume accurately conveys their personality or their entire value.

Getting face to face with hiring managers allows you to do that and gives you the potential to land a referral (and avoid the online app completely).

Thank you Austin Belcak

And thank you Donna Svei, Executive Resume Writer  

You are 10 times more likely to win the job by avoiding the ATS: Use This 10X Job Search Strategy

2. The Bottom Line

Keyword-match the job posting! Absolutely & unequivocally the biggest factor. If your resume is a bunch of carefully-curated words illustrating your unique value proposition for the role in question, does it not make sense that prospective employers will then take those words and attempt to match them up to what they said they wanted?

And in turn, is it not sensible that whoever provides more of the words in the desired priority should be considered a better match? That’s what an ATS does when it gets your resume.

In addition to that keyword-matching, your resume forms the record in the amazingly specialized CRM function an ATS also provides its users so make sure your email & mobile phone are in it–and if receiving SMS is acceptable for you, *say so*.

Many employers are starting to understand that, particularly for employed job seekers, a text is a better way to communicate.

by Ed Han

3. Keep Formatting and Style Easy To Read (on phones)

No headers, no footers, no tables or templates. (Yeah I know that’s going to piss people off.) Simplify in a common font using simple bullets and spacing. I can’t believe how much crap opens weirdly, and my folks are techies! Send as pdf when you can but don’t use that as an excuse to over-format. MAKE IT EASY TO READ ON A PHONE.

by Linda Tuerk

4. Repeat- Do Not Put Info in Headers/Footers

I agree with the idea of BYPASSING wherever possible. If and when you have to apply online, for heavens sake don’t put your contact info in the header or footer — it will never get read!

by Virginia Franco, Executive Career Storyteller

5. Consider Plurals, Abbreviations, etc.

It’s also important to be extra mindful of: Plurals, Abbreviations, Numbers, Hyphens, Acronyms and Synonyms. For example: CPA or Certified Public Accountant, CRM or Salesforce, 10 Yrs. Experience or Ten Years’ Experience, Nonprofit or Non-profit, 2019 or ’19, etc. Be sure to tailor the content of your resume to the exact keywords or phrasing that is included in the job description. Otherwise, the system may have difficulty matching you with those skills.

by Emily Brown, PHR, SHRM-CP, CPBA

6. But Don’t Make Your Resume Too Pretty

Be cautious of those “fancy” resume designs that don’t follow a traditional format or encourage you to embed images that contain valuable information. While these may look nice to the human eye, resumes with embedded images and unusual layouts often become a garbled mess, or get completely omitted from your application, after it passes through the applicant tracking system. I wrote an article with all my tips and an infographic on beating the dreaded hiring bots here.

by Amanda Augustine

7. What Are Keywords/Buzzwords?

The unfortunate reality is that recruiters in all fields are drawn to very specific buzzwords.

Silly example: if a job requirement is looking for experience with “aqua blue” but your resume shows experience with “Teal”, your resume/profile might not get noticed.  An ATS is only going to pick up what a recruiter tells it to. Aqua Blue and Teal are pretty much the same, but the system doesn’t know that.

SO…as a candidate, if you know this, then make sure to pick up on the specific keywords used in the job description, and change your resume to show Aqua Blue instead of Teal so that you stand out.


Thank you Brian Reid

8. Titles Are Keywords

I echo what Ed Han said and would add a couple things: – Make sure the actual position title is in a prominent position on your resume. Normally this means at the very top of your resume.

– Use the exact keywords from the job posting as Ed already said. I would add to that to use complementary keywords. If there are other related keywords that are relevant to the position but not necessarily included in the posting make sure you use those throughout your resume too.

– You may not always know all the right keywords. Do research! Google the skills needed/expected for the position, industry and prospective employer. You could also use sites like Glassdoor or Indeed. But don’t be afraid of using a keyword research tool like Moz or SemRush to figure out what other words might be relevant.

It might be a little bit of research required on the front end but it will pay off in the long run with a shorter job search.

by Jessica Hernandez

9. Match The Company

I agree with all the above. When we have a client that is focused on one role or company, we (together) research the heck out of the company, that particular role, even look at other roles they have open to see if there are certain common keywords we may have missed. ATS is looking for keywords the company has programmed it for so those words will be in the job description. Read it carefully and be sure to sprinkle those words throughout your resume (and cover letter even) and weave them into your story.

by Erin Kennedy MCD, CMRW, CERW, CPRW, CEMC

10. But Don’t Overdo It

I’ll add that it’s important to remember that after your resume gets screened by an ATS, a human also reviews it. It still needs to be visually appealing. I reviewed a resume recently with FIFTY “core competencies” bulleted out at the top. That’s overkill.

by Sarah Johnston, Job Search Expert

11. It’s Not A Buffet

…it is just really important for job seekers to move away from the “buffet style” style and treat every application by savoring every moment you have to customize every resume so it stands out as opposed to fitting in. I agree with Ed Han and Jessica Hernandez..keywords are very important and in line with what is being looked for. And, transfer that confidence-be compelling in terms of your accomplishment statements and share what will add to your career story…. not what is already “intuitively” recognized by employers/recruiters and often over-used with no real

by Shelly Elsliger

12. Prepare An ATS Version

Have a separate resume for ATS submission versus .pdf submission or handing someone a resume in person. Keep the format simple. No tables, lines, graphs, charts. A complex resume format can keep the system from reading your resume.

by Donna Schilder, MCC

13. PDF or Word?

My research says that if the company says a PDF is ok, then it is. Unfortunately, you don’t know how old a company’s system is and whether it accepts PDF’s. Hedge your bets, and upload a word doc. In answer to your second question – yes it could exclude you. Also, try to mirror the job descriptions wording to match better.

by Sarah Holtzclaw

14. If You Must Apply, Know This

If you absolutely can’t avoid the system then write your resume with the system top of mind. Identify meaningful keywords (both short and long-tail) and then think: repeatable and relevant when adding them to the file.

Next, demonstrate proficiency by sharing keywords in context and with a rich assortment of metrics. It is one thing to include a keyword and another thing entirely to provide proof of ability.

Finally, if you include content in the Header. Footer, Charts or Graphs – translate details into the body of the file so the system can find them. It is ok to house details in these areas/graphics but to be safe they should also appear in the body of the file.

by Adrienne Tom, Executive Resumes

15. Use Formatting To Your Advantage

And, when you do apply online…

1. Follow up in any way you can. Find the recruiter on LinkedIn, or, best case scenario, get someone you know there to fill out the referral paperwork.

2. Be more than keywords. Yes, you need them to get through, but everyone else who gets through will have them, too. Highlight your accomplishments and the experiences and qualifications that make you unique while adding value to the reader. ATS like keywords in context, so don’t waste space with long lists (great advice Sarah).

3. Stand out and increase readability. Don’t let ATS myths prevent you from creating a resume that uses formatting research shows increases consumption. Use it to highlight your differentiation. A human chooses who to interview!

by Marie Zimenoff

16. Sure, People Still Get Hired Through ATS

I agree that referrals are much more effective, however you might not know someone at every company you wish to apply for. For example, I’ve gotten all of my positions (with the exception of my first job) by applying online via ATS. And I think it’s bad advice to tell people essentially that if they don’t know someone who can refer them, they should just not apply.

by Tamara Devine

Tools & Tips To Help With Keywords & ATS was mentioned by a couple of people. Check it out. was mentioned as another way to identify keywords in job postings.

The post How To Get Past The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) appeared first on Career Sherpa .

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Summary Sunday: New and Different Ways To Stand Out

In order to get noticed as a candidate or star performer today, you’ll have to try new and different ways to stand out.

If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll get the same results. So if you are reading this, I hope that means you are ready to try new and different strategies or approaches to your job search (and career).

different ways to stand out

This week’s summary features tips on new elevator pitches, different resources within Indeed’s job site, examples of what college graduates can put in their LinkedIn summary section, a different strategy to writing a resume and new ways of breaking out of your comfort zone.

As you read these articles, think about subscribing to the sites mentioned and/or following their social media accounts so you can get their updates!


2 Ways to Create a 1-Line Elevator Pitch (That’ll Make People Want to Keep Talking to You)
by Priscilla Tan | The Muse

The title says it all- How will you answer the “What do you do?” question concisely and interestingly? You’ll find two modern formulas to zoom in on a short but interesting answer! Start practicing your new pitch today!


10 Tips for Finding Your Next Job on Indeed [Infographic]
by Indeed | The Savvy Intern by YouTern

Make the most of your time on Indeed by following these 10 tips. I bet you’ll be surprised by all the information you can find and use in this infographic!


5 Stunningly Good Graduate Student LinkedIn Summary Examples
by Andy Foote |

The Summary section of your LinkedIn profile is too important to ignore. But what do you put in that section if you are a college student and about to graduate? See examples, good and bad, of what to write.


A woman created a stunning résumé to land her dream tech job — it got her immediate interviews with Airbnb, Uber, and LinkedIn
by Lisa Eadicicco | Business Insider

While this story is from 2015, a strategy like this would work today! As the article says:

What made Mufleh’s résumé so interesting to recruiters is that it doesn’t really focus on her past experience, although an employer could find that on her résumé if they wanted to. Instead, it showcased her knowledge of the travel industry, what she could contribute to Airbnb, and areas she thinks the company should tackle next.


15 Ways To Trick Yourself Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Forbes Coaches Panel

There comes a time when you know you need to do things differently, but it can be challenging to climb out of your comfort zone. 15 career experts provide tips to help you break free!

The post Summary Sunday: New and Different Ways To Stand Out appeared first on Career Sherpa .

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Awkward! Company Owner Watches Me On Camera & Reads My Emails

In this week’s episode of “Well This Happened”, we want to know what you would do if you worked for an owner who micro-manages you my watching you work on camera and reading through your company emails.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

If you want to enter for the chance to win one of our FREE memberships, be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel and hit the bell to get notified each time a new “Well This Happened” episode is out. To enter, simply comment which answer you think is correct in the comments below the video on Youtube!

To help choose next week’s topic, scroll down to the bottom and cast your vote!

Manager Watches Me On Camera & Monitors My Emails [Part 1]

A: Let the owner know she is making you uncomfortable and ask her to stop.

B: Ask Other Co-Workers If They’re Experiencing The Same Thing & Go To The Owner Together.

C: Start Looking For A New Job. She’s Not Going To Change And This Isn’t Going To Get Any Better.

D: Write A Scathing Anonymous Glassdoor Review Venting About The Policy In Hopes The Owner Sees It.

Awkward! Company Owner Watches Me On Camera & Reads My Emails syndicated from