Below you can everything that you need to know about ATS which is applicant tracking systems and what are the ways that can help you to beat them.
We have all been in the situation: You find the job opportunity that is perfect for you, you are customizing your resume and cover letter, submitting your application online and then pray to pass the very infamous six-second resume review test. But the unfortunate thing is most of the time your application lost in resume black hole and you wonder what are the reasons why the employers were not into your despite your outstanding resume and cover letter.
The thing that many job seekers don’t know is that there more than 75% job applications that are rejected before they come across by human eyes. Your application needs to pass a system called applicant tracking system before it reaches the hands of a live person.
Below you can find each and everything that you should know about applicant tracking system and what are the possible ways that you can follow to beat ATS and other these types of bots as well.
What is an applicant tracking system?
ATS is a type of software that most of the employers and recruiters use during the process of hiring to collect, sort, scan, and rank all the job applications that they for the open position in their organization. This system was initially developed for large organizations that had to deal with thousands of job applications on a weekly basis. Today, there are approximately 95% of Fortune 500 companies that rely on this software to help them streamline the recruitment process. So, what began a recruitment solution is now a commonplace tool used for all shape and size of companies.
How do ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) work?
ATS acts as an electronic gatekeeper to help employers. It parses the contents of the resume into categories and then scans it for keywords to determine the application to pass along to the recruiter. The primary purpose of ATS to weed out the unqualified applicants to save the time of recruiters. In simple words, the ATS will toss the least qualified applicants out rather than identifying the best-fit applicants and it clearly means you need to write and craft your resume by keeping this software and its working in mind.
How to write an ATS-friendly resume
To determine what are the factors that are essential to make the resume compatible with this ATS, we analyzed more than 500 professional resumes having at least 8 years of experience to identify the most common mistakes and what are the things that cause the ATS to toss out the application. Below you can find the tips that can help you to compliant for an ATS.
Select the right file type for your resume
A PDF is not the friendly type of file to ATS although PDFs are best to preserve the format and design it is not compatible with all ATS format. If you are asked to upload a pdf then you need to use a pdf version of your resume but if the system has not specified any file type then you need to play it safe and upload the word document. Plain text files are also compatible with ATS however, they limit some of the formatting options.
As the best resume is created by keeping the two audiences in mind. The robots that are used to pre-screen your resume and the live human in the department of HR. We recommend you to use a word document instead of a plain-text file for the resume file type. This will surely provide you more freedom to write a resume to appeal to the hiring manager or recruiter.
Don’t put important details in the header or footer
You need to keep this thing in mind that not all ATS is able to read and parse information that is in the header and footer section of your word document. In fact, ATS cannot identify a portion of the contact information of applicants 25% of the time. Avoid this mistake by placing some important contact details such as name, email address, or phone number outside the header or the footer section.
Optimize your resume with keywords
Keywords are considered as one of the best ways to optimize your resume. Avoid using typical buzzwords to a fluffier term used for marketing such as self-starter, proactive that represents the hard and soft skills that you possess and expertise that can help you to acquire the jobs.
If you are still unsure about the keywords then do as we say. Collect three to five job descriptions for the job that you are looking for. After that copy and paste these descriptions into the word-cloud generator such as Wordle, it will identify the words that are frequently used throughout your required post and if you possess the same skills and qualification then incorporate those in your resume as well.
Avoid images, charts, and other graphics
Although graphical content looks very nice to the human eye, these images become a garbled mess or they get completely omitted from your application when it gets passed through the ATS. For example, if your resume is showing your skills through a chart it will be unable to read by the ATS.
Stick to simple bullet points
Bullets are a great way to highlight qualification and accomplishments in your resume. If you use any elaborate symbols for your resume then your important points could get scrambled. It’s better to use simple bullets and avoid intricate characters and symbols to highlight the main points in your resume.
Use a clean resume design with a clear hierarchy
When it comes to the design of the resume, it will not wrong to say that Less is more. avoid complex design and unusual resume formats that might confuse the ATS but they annoy the recruiters also who9 can to scan the application quickly.
How to create an ATS-friendly resume format
If you want that your resume passes this ATS, you need to stick to the standard format used for resumes such as a hybrid. Your resume must include a section for a professional summary at the top of the document to outline the qualifications and skills, and combine all the information is a chronological manner. Most of the ATS does a better job at interpreting the hybrid format of resume because the hybrid format relies on the chronological data to parse the content of your resume.
How to run an ATS-resume test for compliance
There are two ways that are used to determine to check if your resume is compatible with ATS or not.
Convert your resume to a plain-text file
Copy all the content from your resume to the pain text documents and then review the results. If you notice the plain text is missing any details then edit the contents in plain text document form your original resume. You need to check to correct the characters if they are incorrect and look for the disorganized headings etc.
Request a free ATS scan for your resume
There are many sites which provide services to career advice. You can request a free resume from those sites and then they will provide you feedback on the content of your resume along with the ATS compatibility.
If the ATS is unable to identify your job application and thinks you are fit for the job then your resume will further be optimized before it passes the compatibility test of ATS.
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