Technology and automation always go hand in hand when it comes to recruitment. Nowadays, hiring managers rely on robot called ATS (applicant tracking system) to easily shortlist candidates’ resumes and CVs. The use of ATS helps companies save more of hiring manager’s time to do other meaningful tasks.
As a job seeker, it is crucial to understand this trend so you can upgrade your resume in order to pass the robot and go into human hands. Only then, hiring managers can see your potential and if you are lucky, you will get yourself a job offer.
The question is, how to get your resume pass the ATS? If you are wondering the same question, we have the short answer for you here. But before giving you the tips, you should understand what ATS actually is.
What is ATS?
ATS is a tool used to manage an organisation’s end-to-end recruiting process. According to Jobscan research, nearly every company, irrespective of their size, filters resumes through ATS before someone really takes a look at the resume. ATS systems collect and sort thousands of resumes, getting the best which can be a lifesaver for recruiters.
However, the research also found that sometimes top candidates slip through the cracks. That means without the right understanding on how this machine works, there is a chance that you will not be seen despite your excellent skills.
So, how does ATS work?
Generally, ATS will collect and store resumes in a database for hiring professionals to access. Resumes might be stored long after you apply for the job. Then, recruiters will search and sort through selected resumes in a number of ways, depending on the recruitment system they are using.
There are three common selection ATS programs, including:
- traditional shortlist which require recruiters to 6-seconds glance your resume and make sure that your skills and qualifications are matched,
- automatic rankings which will select resumes based on a job description, and
- keywords searches which focus on searching for key skills and titles.
How to beat the system?
Due to a tight selection of the ATS system, you should be more careful and exact in designing your resume. There are some factors you need to recheck and rewrite when needed in order to pass the ATS.
- Resume format
Many ATSs analyse resumes into a digital profile to make things uniform and searchable. This could be a huge barrier for you because once you pass a slight format, ATS will throw your resume away to the bin. Therefore, make sure to keep section such as headings simple, use consistent formatting for your work history and dates, avoid tables, and use a .docx or .pdf file format. This suggests you to use chronological or hybrid format and avoid functional resume format.
- Job description
Carefully tailor your resume to the job description every single time you apply. Different companies will provide a different description, so do your homework to read about it before you write.
- Resume keywords
Optimise your resume rankings for the ATS and ranking algorithms by matching your keywords to the job description. In addition, use both acronym and long-form version when writing your resume such as search engine optimisation (SEO) for maximum searchability.
- Writing resume
There are some rules you should obediently follow here:
o don’t use tables or columns as it can cause major errors; use traditional fonts such as Helvetica, Garamond, and Georgia;
o don’t use header or footer, it can also cause a major problem; and
o use standard resume headings like work experience, educational background, etc.
Never overdone your resume writing by stuffing keywords. While this can easily get applicants pass the tracking system, recruiters will still take a look at what you write and they are unlikely to be fooled. Hence, focus your writing that is based on fact and your actual skill-sets. Good luck!