Three readers will review most resumes – an applicant tracking software (ATS), a gatekeeper (HR representative) and a hiring manager. Getting past the ATS can be a challenge and candidates typically interact with an ATS when they submit an online form.
There are hundreds of ATS systems in use by a variety of organizations. According to Jobscan research, 98% of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS.
What Does An ATS Do?
The ATS helps the hiring team vet online applications by searching for resume keywords, job titles, education, or other filters. Sending applicants through ATS results in applicant rankings based on the content match, providing gatekeepers with a way to quickly identify ideal candidates….at least in theory.
ATS is not a perfect system. If an applicant does not have the correct terms within their resume, most ATS cannot identify that applicant, even if the person is qualified for the job. This is an issue for both the applicant and hiring manager. Using an ATS saves hours of manual time by quickly vetting applicants, so employers will continue to use the software.
How Do I Know?
When applying for a job, look at the job listing URL to see if an ATS name is in the URL. Some common ATS names include Taleo, Greenhouse, Workday, iCIMS, SilkRoad, ADP, BrassRing, Proprietary, CareerBuilder, and SuccessFactors.
It’s important to remember that people hire people. Loading resume content with keywords to try and “game” an ATS is a losing endeavor. Instead, read the job description and identify top keywords by looking for repetitive words and also word structure.
If the job description states “manage projects” do not use “project manager” in the resume because the ATS will potentially view these two terms as a non-match. Instead, reflect the keywords within the resume exactly as you see them in the job description. If the description states “quality assurance” then be sure the resume content states “quality assurance.”
Not sure how to write resume content appealing to ATS, gatekeepers, and a hiring manager? Contact me, and we can discuss your project.