Your Resume Can Beat The Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Your Resume Can Beat The Applicant Tracking Systems

You don’t have to speak “computer” to understand and beat the applicant tracking systems. Follow our hard-won experience: improve your resume to land more interviews and beat the applicant tracking systems!

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What are applicant tracking systems?

Ah, the dreaded ATS! What is it and why is it important? We get these questions all the time! Applicant tracking systems help modern hiring teams streamline their hiring process. How does this affect how you apply for jobs? Employers can receive hundreds of resumes in the process of filling an open position. These systems are used to filter out unqualified candidates. It all boils down to this, companies do save time, energy, and financial resources- but the perfect candidate can slip through the cracks. So, what’s the solution?

How do applicant tracking systems work?

ATS systems use algorithms and your application doesn’t end up in front of a human being until you bypass them. Stay with me here, algorithms aren’t scary!

Algorithms are just requirements. These requirements can include required skills, keywords, and job history. Recruiters typically begin wading through the sea of resumes by searching for key skills and titles. If they hire an administrative assistant, they will most likely start by exploring their reports for the keywords “administrative and assistant.” If an applicant does not have those keywords listed on their resume, they will not be selected for that open position.

Bummer, right? Not if you understand how the system works! The software continues paring down the report pulling all candidates whose resume fits the required description. American pioneer of information technology, Ted Nelson said, “The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do.”

Your resume can beat the applicant tracking systems

Your resume can beat the applicant tracking system by understanding that resume formatting is crucial. If you try to get fancy with your design, the computer will not read it, and your information could get distorted. There are many ATS-friendly resume samples available online. These free ATS-friendly resume templates are already formatted. All you have to do is customize them with your own information.

Here are our simple and easy recommendations to beat the ATS:

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  • Review the job opening and tailor your resume to fit the requirements.
  • Don’t use special formatting- avoid including excel tables or excessive bullet points.
  • Use traditional fonts like Times New Roman and Calibri.
  • Use standard headings like “Professional Experience” and “Education, Certifications.”

Here’s the bottom line- you can get into the hands of a human and not cheat the system! Don’t copy and paste all of the job posting’s keywords. It will not increase your chances of being selected by “stuffing” your resume with buzzwords or copying lines from the job post into your resume.

Do your best to craft a well-written resume showcasing your experience and accomplishments. Remember, a resume is a tool to get your foot in the door. You seal the deal in your interview. Improve your resume to land more interviews.

Published by Liz Southers

Liz Southers, the founder, and CEO of The Fine Print was born to be a writer. She is a sought-after writing and marketing expert in South Florida for resumes, cover letters, blog writing, press releases, grant writing, and ghostwriting. Her work portfolio includes press releases for Keller Williams Real Estate, The Keyes Company Real Estate, The University of Florida Food and Agricultural Sciences, Florida Oceanographic Society, and Thrivent Financial, with publishings by the F*** Heroin Foundation, TC Palm, and Liz loves living in Stuart, Florida, and is happy to call it her forever home. She lives with her husband James, their sons Wesley and Brody, dog Mae, cat Luna and pet pigs Mojo and Amelia. (754) 208-7024

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