Take Advantage of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Take Advantage of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Looking for a new position abroad? Many job hunters and resumes must first survive the applicant tracking system before a hiring manager or recruiter even looks at them. Understand how this system functions so that it can move on to more in-person interviews and increased job prospects.

Do your research.What is ATS?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software application that handles the recruitment process electronically. An ATS sorts through thousands of resumes to determine which ones are the best fit for the roles for which they were being submitted.

An applicant tracking system processing a CV is not that different from a recruiter glancing at your resume for ten seconds. In both cases, they are looking for certain criteria for inclusion for further consideration. Applicant tracking systems function by matching keywords in the resume to the keywords they are programmed to accept for the particular position.

How ATS can hurt applicants?

Applicant tracking systems are the bane of hordes of job hunters. These systems, which employers and recruiters use to manage job openings across their enterprises and screen incoming resumes from job seekers, kill 75 percent of candidates’ chances of landing an interview as soon as they submit their resumes; this is according to job search services provider Preptel.

The problem with applicant tracking systems, as many job seekers now know, is that they are foible. If a job seeker’s resume isn’t formatted the right way and doesn’t contain the right keywords and phrases, the applicant tracking system will misread it. This misreading will result in it becoming ranked it as a bad match with the job opening, regardless of the candidate’s actual merits.

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Tips to take advantage of an ATS

Job seekers can increase their CV’s chances of getting through an applicant tracking system by heeding the following do’s and don’ts:

1. Never send your resume as a PDF:  Applicant tracking systems lack a standard way to structure PDF documents. PDFs are easily misread, which affects ranking.

2. Don’t include tables or graphics: Applicant tracking systems can’t read graphics, and they misread tables. Instead of reading tables left to right, as a person would, applicant tracking systems read them up and down.

3. Submit a longer resume: The length of your resume doesn’t matter to an applicant tracking system. It will scan your resume regardless of whether it’s two pages or four. Submitting a longer CV that allows you to pack in more relevant experience, keywords, and phrases could increase your chances of ranking higher in the system.

4. Call your work experience, “Work Experience”: Sometimes job seekers refer to their work experience on their CVs as their “Professional Experience” or “Career Achievements” or some other variation. Often the software application will completely skip over your work experience because you didn’t label it as such.

5. Don’t start your work experience with dates: To ensure an ATS reads and imports your work experience properly, always start it with: your employer’s name, followed by your title, followed by the dates you held that title. Each can run on its own line. ATSs look for company names first. Never start your work experience with the dates you held certain positions.