What is an applicant tracking system (ATS)?
ATS is a type of software that reads your resume and ranks it, the higher the ranks the greater chance it has of being seen by an employer. If you’ve applied for a job, chances are it’s passed through one of these systems. Over 98% of Fortune 500 use an ATS , so being building a resume the is able to pass through such systems is essential in today’s job market.
How does an ATS work?
An ATS scans the contents of a resume by sections and specific keywords related to the job role in order to establish weather it should be passed on to the recruiter.
The main focus is to eliminate unqualified candidates without the recruiter spending tons of human hours to do the same job. This means that mistakes can be made, we have listed 3 expert tips to ensure your resume isn’t overlooked again.
How to build a resume that beats the bots:
1. Use the right keywords
The core of any applicant tracking system is to read your resume and match as many specific keywords as it finds to the role you’re applying for. The recruiter sets the skills, experiences, qualifications and other such factors they are looking for in candidates, for example technology roles will look for coding experience and finance roles may look for economics qualifications. Certain role will require that you have qualifications enabling you to legally perform the job. Here are some useful resources to help select the right keywords:
My Expert Writer Tip – Look for hard skills that have been mentioned multiple times on a job posting or even the job title itself as they can be of greater importance to the recruiter.
Click here for: A guide to selecting the right keywords for your resume
2. Select the right file type
Not every ATS can read all document types, therefore it’s important to select the correct format so your resume is readable otherwise it could go unnoticed. The most common format being .doc or PDF. Although PDF documents maintain the formatting better, in majority of cases .doc files are more easily read by majority of applicant tracking systems.
To be safe, it’s best to use the preferred format of the employer’s choosing. If they state PDF is okay to submit, then you can do so.
From only £40, My Expert Writer will build you a brand new CV in both Word and PDF format so you’re fully prepared
My Expert Writer Tip – If you don’t have Microsoft Word use an online converter:
3. Simplicity is key
As well choosing a compatible document type for an ATS, it must also be easy to read the information on your resume. Creating a fancy or super creative resume will only make it harder for systems for read your information. Similar to a human reading, an ATS will read your resume from left to right and from top to bottom.
Avoid these mistakes when building your resume:
A simple design: no charts, tables or images. Keep information out of header of footer.
Stick to Universal fonts: Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Garamond, Georgia, or Cambria
Common Sections: use conventional headings such as ‘Education’, ‘Work Experience’ and so forth.
Attributes that won’t trip up ATS:
Text formatting: Bold, Italics and Underline
Bulletpoints: only use standard circle or if need be square.
My Expert Writer Tip - Using one of these formats is the best way to go as ATS, similar to humans read these formats easier.
Applicant tracking systems have made job hunting more difficult in today’s digital era. Using these tips should help your resume pass through important filters and get seen by employers.
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