Applicant Tracking Systems: Why your resume might never be read by a human being

Applicant Tracking Systems: Why your resume might never be read by a human being

The good old days where an actual human being would get your application materials out of an envelope, look at them and subsequently decide if your application should go on the “yes” or “no” pile are long gone.

In the world of online applications, companies, by now even small and medium sized businesses, rely more and more on so called “Applicant Tracking Systems”.

Why you need to know what an Applicant Tracking System is!

An Applicant Tracking System, or in the world of HR simply called ATS, is a software application that helps employers to efficiently organize their recruitment process.

Two major functions of an ATS that are of interest for the applicant are:

·         Screening Résumé

·         Automated Résumé Ranking

Now, let this information sink in for a moment.

A computer software is likely to screen your résumé and rank it. Now guess what is most likely to happen to your application if this computer software decides to rank your résumé number 425 out of 600 received applications?

Yes, you guessed right: the recruiter – now an actual human being –  will most likely only look at the top 20 ranked, maybe the top 30 ranked résumés. But by no means will any recruiter look at the top 425 résumés  in their database. Now what? You might move on, adjust your résumé a bit, apply somewhere else and maybe the next ATS will rank your résumé maybe number 139 out of 600 submitted résumés. Problem solved? Not really as you still don’t have an interview.

My main point here is: Do you see how haphazard your chances of getting an actual interview this way are?

The consequences for your application

Applicant Tracking Systems have widely eliminated the chances for an interview with a “random- shot-one-résumé-fits-them-all” application. As an applicant you will need to learn everything about ATS and each respective employer.

Which keywords are of relevance for the computer scanning your résumé? Which fonts are they able to read? What formatting styles should be avoided or applied? How to structure the résumé the right way and what should be or not be included?

Sounds hard? Yes, it is quite a strenuous task.

Luckily there is another option out there:

The service of professional résumé writers. They will “get down there and get  in the face” of  ATS software and make sure you compete with your best possible résumé and avoid common ATS pitfalls!

What are you waiting for?

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