They are here to stay
First off, Applicant tracking systems are here to stay and of course no one likes them, not even the people using them. Unfortunately they are set in place to limit the amount of applications coming in, and split the good ones from the bad ones. This isn’t to say that you are a failure, but what they usually do is reject people by not having
the industries specific Keywords in their Resumes.
Do you stand out?
An important factor is whether the scanner can visually read everything including your name, and the reason I say your name is I come across Resumes that have the name in the header spot; this is an automatic rejection and will see your Resume go into the trash quicker than you can say, dang. To debunk all the other stuff out there that has been stated about applicant tracking systems I am here to tell you none of it is true. The truth is the ATS can extract the lines, information, boxes, and whatever other formatting you have. Even though it can extract everything doesn’t mean it will make it through the process of getting to a human. Which in order to get it to them you need to have the correct keywords spread throughout your document like for example, in sales, “Business Develop
ment” or in Financial “GAAP” or “adhoc” or let us take it further to IT with keywords being “C#, SQL, Java, or even Cisco.” Having many of these words including industry verbiage within your Resume will only strengthen your case for your Resume to be reviewed by a professional in HR or a Recruiter.
Mistakes, No, no one makes them
A common mistake is Resume formatting. Placing dates before the company and position held make it harder for the ATS to translate your information. In terms of length, the ATS doesn’t care if your Resume is 1 paragraph, or 100 pages, it will pull the information pertinent to the job you are seeking using those KEYWORDS (Keywords is the keyword here). At this point, it becomes important to optimize your Resume by utilizing those keywords as much as possible throughout your Resume, and altering your Resume for the position you are seeking. A generic Resume is great for handing to an individual, but most places don’t work like that anymore. The ATS is the gatekeeper and Resume Optimization is your key in.
Emergency Alert, this is important
The most important factor of being rejected by the ATS is by not answering the questions about how many years experience you have, what skills you have and so on. These questions will determine whether you get to the next portion or whether you get rejected, but if you do make it to the next step of the process then the automated scanner scans your Resume for keywords, fluid information, and years of experience.
This is how it goes with the ATS (ATS 101)
- You upload your Resume (and/or fill out the application)
- The system scans your submission for a pre-selected set of criteria (those KEYWORDS)
- Your submission is given a rating
- Submissions within the specified rating are passed on to the recruiter
You want to be the one with the high rating making it through to the recruiter. Resume Optimization is the way to do that. It’s 2015; plain old Resumes using some generic format with 2 lines for each job description and just aren’t cutting it anymore.
Don’t Skimp on this info
Although this may shoot me in the foot for giving all this information away because, well, this is what I do for a living as a professional Resume Writer I felt it was necessary to share this information. This information if you use it will only help you but you must follow it correctly.