Applicant Tracking System

9 Tips for Getting Your Resume Past Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Is there anything you can do to get an employer to notice your resume? How can you get to the interview? You could get rejected for the job before the employer even gets to see your resume. This is harsh, but it is reality because of how online applications and digitally submitting resumes has made applying for jobs easier, meaning that employers receive more resumes than before.

Applicant Tracking System – Automated Systems for Screening Resumes

Employers have taken to using software to manage this high amount of resumes by screening them. Just about every large company uses automated systems for screening candidates, and many middle-sized organisations also make use of them. Companies employing less than 50 people are less likely to be using these systems.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) screen and reject around 70% or more of resumes submitted because either the documents don’t match up to the qualifications needed, or are formatted in such ways that the system isn’t able to process them.

Here are the top 9 Tips for getting your resume past Applicant Tracking System:

1. Use keywords

Ensure that you include relevant keywords into the job application. Check the qualifications implied and outright listed in job advertisements for these keywords. Make sure to take a look at the company website to see if you can find a job description that is more detailed.

If you can’t find a lot of information then look through similar job postings on other major sites to learn more. Also consider interviewing professionals in your chosen field and find out more about jargon and keywords they recommend people use to showcase their skills and knowledge in the field.

Put together a list of the phrases and words used to describe the best candidate and use them in your job application.

2. Use important keywords more than once

Use the very best keywords more than once if you can, but don’t overdo it. There will likely not be any penalty for repeating words and systems will often add up points for every mention of keyword in related context.

3. Include a summary of qualifications or skills section

Incorporate a summary of your qualifications or use a skills section to list the keywords of each skill that you could have trouble supporting through the descriptions of the positions you’ve had.

4. Tailor your resume for each position

There’s nothing worse to an ATS than a generic resume. They are all screened out. Make sure that your resume is tailored to every job being targeted. Incorporate all the phrases and keywords from the job description that you can, while still making sure the resume reads well and sounds natural.

5. Include dates

Don’t forget the dates you were employed. Systems could be screening people based on how much experience they have in a particular field.

6. Keep the document plain and simple

Don’t put fancy graphics in the resume and keep a simple format. ATS prefer plain text word documents. PDF documents are difficult for ATS to process.

7. Polish your online presence

Some employers also use software to look online and assess social media profiles. Make sure that you cultivate your online brand. Ensure that all the facts of your social media profiles match up with what you have written on your resume and job application.

8. Keep a traditional resume handy

Put together a resume for human eyes designed for small employers when dropping off resumes and networking. You should also take some extra copies of these traditional resumes to interviews.

9. Network

Don’t trust automated tracking systems to take care of all the work for you. It doesn’t matter how well you design your resume to go through ATS, you should still place a focus on networking. Given how many online resumes employers receive, it’s good to have an advocate inside the organisation telling people you are the right candidate.

Need more tips on how to write a good resume? Read more resume tips.

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