Understanding The ATS (Applicant Tracking System) When Applying for Jobs

ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System. An ATS is a software application that helps employers manage the recruitment and hiring process by collecting, sorting, and tracking job applicants. Basically, it is the first gatekeeper between you and your next job.

How Does ATS Work?

When you submit your resume online, it’s often scanned by an ATS before it even reaches a human recruiter. The system scans for keywords, qualifications, and other factors that match the job posting. Based on this scan, your resume is given a score and ranked against other applicants.

This helps employers quickly identify top candidates. It’s also meant to reduce the time and resources spent on manually reviewing and sorting through resumes.

ATS software can also help manage other aspects of the hiring process. This includes scheduling interviews, communicating with applicants, and collecting feedback from hiring managers and other team members.

Many large organizations use Applicant Tracking Software to streamline their recruitment processes. This is an effort to improve the quality and efficiency of their hiring efforts. However, there are some concerns that ATS algorithms may inadvertently screen out qualified candidates based on factors like formatting, keyword choices, or other biases.

Because we’re solution-oriented, we have tips for writing a resume that is optimized for ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems). Considering these systems are gatekeeping you from an actual person, it’s important to know how to get your foot in the door.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when submitting a resume for applicant tracking systems:

  • Use keywords: ATS scans for specific keywords that match the job requirements, so it’s essential to include relevant keywords in your resume. Carefully review the job description and incorporate relevant keywords throughout your resume. This will increase your chances of getting through the ATS.
  • Use a simple layout: Avoid using complex formatting such as tables, graphs, and images that may not be compatible with the ATS software. Instead, use simple formatting with standard fonts, bullets, and headings. This will help the ATS scan your resume quickly and easily.
  • Use clear and concise language: Use clear and concise language to describe your skills, experience, and achievements. Avoid using industry jargon and focus on using simple, easy-to-understand language that the ATS can interpret accurately.
  • Keep it relevant: Tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for. Highlight your relevant skills and experience that match the job requirements. Avoid including irrelevant information that may confuse the ATS.
  • Check your spelling and grammar: Even though the ATS is a software program, it can still detect spelling and grammar errors. Make sure to proofread your resume carefully before submitting it.

Using Applicant Tracking Systems in your favor as an applicant

ATS is an integral part of the hiring process for many organizations. Optimizing your resume for it can increase your chances of getting hired. By using keywords, customizing your resume, keeping it simple, and proofreading it, you can create a resume that stands out to both the ATS and the human recruiter.

Remember, ATS aims to help employers find the right candidate for the job. By following these tips, you can ensure your resume is the right fit for your desired job.

So, the next time you’re applying for a job online, keep ATS in mind and give your resume the best chance of success.

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Headshot picture of the writer of this article, Kenneth Medford III, with a muted black and white filter.
Kenneth Medford III

Writer, rhymer, gamer: the easiest way to define the man known as Kenneth Medford. I’m a simple man who loves to learn and loves to help and I wander the digital world trying to find ways to sate my hunger for both. Basically, I’m Galactus but helpful.

Check out my other work here or reach out to me on LinkedIn.

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