Applicant Tracking Software: Getting Past The Gatekeeper

Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) is used by organizations to manage their recruitment processes. It allows recruiters to manage job postings, track resumes and applications, and communicate with candidates. ATS can be used to streamline the recruitment process and make it more efficient. It can also be a job seeker’s worst nightmare if not prepared. Here’s how to be the key master.

Here are some common features of ATS:

  1. Resume Parsing: ATS automatically extracts relevant information from resumes and organizes it in a structured way to compare it to job postings and rank candidates.
  2. Job Posting: ATS enables recruiters to post job openings on various job boards and social media platforms.
  3. Candidate Database: ATS stores candidate information, including resumes, cover letters, and communication logs.
  4. Customizable Workflows: ATS allows recruiters to create custom workflows for the recruitment process, such as setting up different stages of the hiring process and assigning tasks to team members.
  5. Screening and Filtering: ATS enables recruiters to filter and screen candidates based on specific criteria, such as education, experience, or keywords.
  6. Communication: ATS facilitates communication between recruiters and candidates, such as sending automated emails or scheduling interviews.
  7. Reporting: ATS generates reports and analytics to help recruiters analyze the recruitment process and make data-driven decisions.

ATS can be beneficial for organizations of all sizes as it can help save time and resources by automating certain aspects of the recruitment process. However, it is important to note that ATS is just one tool in the recruitment process and should not replace human interaction and decision-making.

How to get your resume through ATS:

  • Your resume should be in a standard format using fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, Tahoma, or Courier. ATS can’t parse/”read” fancy fonts and will discard your resume.
  • Avoid pictures, logos, images, and tables.
  • Don’t put contact information in headers and footers. Most ATS can’t decipher information in them.
  • Resumes should be sent in a word or rich text document rather than a PDF file unless a posting or application clearly states that PDF submissions are okay.
  • ATS matches the information in your resume to the job posting so when you apply be sure that the key phrases and contextual information are worded the same.
  • Insert the job posting through TagCrowd and Wordle to identify keywords that can be included (but not overused) in your  resume.
  • Use both the acronym as well as the spelled-out form of title in your resume, such as Bachelor of Arts and BA.
  • Avoid the term “career objective.” Instead, craft a short qualification summary of 5 to 6 sentences and include ATS related keywords.
  • Avoid spelling mistakes. ATS will reject your resume because of them.
  • Use bullets instead of paragraphs.
  • Have a dedicated Skills or Areas of Expertise section.
  • Don’t use accented words or special characters.
  • Avoid generic resumes. For every job you’re applying to the resume must be tailored. The keywords and phrases for the appropriate job role must be incorporated.


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