Applicant Tracking System(ATS) Everything You Need To Know.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is used in most leading organizations to handle vast quantities of employees. ATS (Applicant Tracking System ) scans your curriculum vitae online, measures your credentials accordingly and grades your application for that position. Recruiters depend on them to increase the quality of their selection process. 75% of applications are “phased out” because they don’t pass the screening!

What to look out for content,

  • Use keywords and exact phrases from the job description throughout your resume and online application. 
  • Keywords are categorized by how many times they appear and how much they are used.
  • Only abbreviate terms (i.e. B.S. degree) if it is also abbreviated in a job description.
  • Use common names for your section headers (Education, Work Experience, Leadership, Skills).
  • A summary statement utilizing keywords can be helpful.
  • Outside of the job description, look for common language and keywords in current employee LinkedIn profiles, particularly those in similar roles.
  • Do not put distinctions (i.e. PhD or CPA) into your header, as ATS (Applicant Tracking System ) will pull that into your first name/last name box.

How to format,

  • Use simple formatting.
  • Avoid headers, footers, tables, templates, borders, lines, symbols (bullet points are fine), shading, fancy fonts, font colors other than black, tables, columns and boxes.
  • Write out months and years so it’s readable by ATS (Applicant Tracking System ) .
  • Use/submit MS Word documents (not PDF’s) since all ATS (Applicant Tracking System )can scan/read them.
  • Don’t wordstuff by adding in hidden or white text to trick the system.
  • Functional resumes without dates might not score as well with newer ATS (Applicant Tracking System ).

Extra Tips

  • Know that there are other things an organization might be scanning for outside of the job description text, like brand competitors or universities or schools attended.
  • Complete all fields in an online application, even those that are not required. Recruiters may use those fields as filters and, if left blank, your application might not make it through the system.
  • Many organizations have employee referral systems, which will fast-track your application through the ATS (Applicant Tracking System ). If you have a contact at the organization to which you are applying, ask them to submit a referral on your behalf.
  • ATS’ are starting to sync with a candidate’s social media presence, so build yours and make sure it’s professional.

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