An applicant tracking system, or ATS for short, is a form of software used by recruiters and employers to gather, filter, scan, and rate job applications for vacant jobs throughout the recruiting process. The applicant tracking system was originally designed for big businesses that deal with thousands of incoming job applications on a weekly basis. ATS software is now used by almost all Fortune 500 firms to assist expedite their recruiting process. What started as a large-employer recruiting solution has evolved into a standard tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. In this article, we will talk about an ATS resume, and how to draft an ATS-friendly resume.
Employers and recruiting managers use applicant tracking systems as electronic gatekeepers. The ATS divides the content of a resume into categories and then scans it for certain keywords to decide if the job application should be sent to a recruiter. Its role is to sift away unqualified applications so that the recruiter may focus on examining the prospects who are most likely to be a good fit for the job. In other words, the ATS is more likely to discard the least-qualified individuals than identify the top ones.
Unfortunately, if a resume template isn't prepared and designed with the applicant tracking system in mind, a good prospect can be overlooked.
The objective for job seekers is to make an ATS-friendly CV that also impresses a human hiring manager. When a human hiring manager looks through your CV, you want them to be impressed by your talents and expertise, not turned off by your overuse of buzzwords.
To make an ATS-friendly résumé, follow these steps:
1. Select a resume template that is simple to read.
The ATS may be confused by fancy typefaces and design components, resulting in your resume being classified into the incorrect pile. Create an ATS-friendly CV that emphasises your experience and talents rather than unnecessarily convoluted charts, graphs, or symbols. To aid the system's processing of your information, utilise the anticipated section headers, such as Summary, Skills, and Work Experience. It's a good idea to start with an ATS-friendly resume template.
2. Look for keywords in job postings.
You must develop a personalised CV for each job you apply for, complete with keywords that match the job description. You should also be aware of the sorts of keywords that are often utilised for the jobs you're looking for. For example, knowledge of certain computer programmes or a specific degree or certification may be required. It might also imply a list of general abilities and experience, such as time management and customer service.
Reading a few different job advertisements while keeping keywords in mind can help you understand the keywords for your industry, experience level, and position. Concentrate on a job description and jot down some of the terms that come to mind.
When drafting your CV, be sure to include the same phrases and keywords that were used in the job application. Humans may be able to recognise popular synonyms and acronyms, but ATS aren't always aware of these variants. The job description may be utilised as a style guide for the position, pointing you in the right direction for keywords to include in your resume.
Let's imagine the job description cites a certain computer software that is critical to the position. Instead of writing "and other technical talents" on your resume, write the program's name backwards. If a job posting specifies Google Analytics as a need, it's best to include that rather than just "analytics" or "SEO." Various certifications and other forms of software are in the same boat.
3. Use keywords to update your resume.
It's time to edit your CV using the keywords you discovered. Look through your resume for synonyms or acronyms to use. Wherever feasible, replace them with keywords. Don't go crazy, but making sure your resume's language match those in the job description can help you get past the ATS. Pay special attention to the action verbs, technical skills or software needs, and other role-specific criteria mentioned in the description.
If you're not sure which term the ATS is looking for, use a slash to include both possible words, such as proofread/edit, Search Engine Optimization/SEO, Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets expertise, and so on. You shouldn't do this too often, but if these phrases are relevant to the context, it may give some keyword protection.
4. Make Each Employer's Resume Unique
Because applicant tracking systems (ATS) have grown so common, it's vital to draught a resume that will get past the screening stage and right to the hiring manager. That involves tailoring your resume to each job you apply for, concentrating on keywords listed in each application, and utilising a format that is easier to read by machines. The time and work you invest into crafting a unique CV that includes relevant keywords from the job description will almost certainly pay off in the long run.
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