What Is an Applicant Tracking System? How To Write CVs for them?

Employee Benefit

16 November 2021

What Is an Applicant Tracking System? How To Write CVs for them?

Highlight: Employers opt for applicant tracking systems to reduce their workload which requires an individual to create an ATS-friendly resume to ensure a 100% passing rate.

In today’s internet era, millions of job-seekers tend to look for recruiters and companies online. Most of it looks like a fairly simple procedure – shortlisting prospective employers, registering on job portals, designing resumes and cover letters, submitting applications, and the final wait. But the actual process of being found by the right employer, and landing your dream job is far from being simple and straightforward. As HR continues to evolve, so do recruitment technologies.

Interesting fact: A job seeker just has 7.4 seconds to impress their employer. Most employers take a cursory look at the applicant’s previous accomplishments, job titles, and employers. 

If you believe the first barrier to securing a job interview is a recruiter’s judgment, mind you! You are yet to see the complete picture. Most enterprise and mid-market companies use various applicant tracking systems to filter the qualified resumes from the piles of applications received. After all, a bad hire can cost a lot to a company. And it is no mean task to get past such ATS filters without having prior knowledge on how to write CVs for them. According to the Pre-employment Testing Benchmark report:

  • 55% of the HR managers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) or a Human Resource Information System (HRS) to help them recruit employees.
  • Furthermore, 19% of the respondents do not use a system currently but plan to do so in the future. 
  • Only 20% of those polled had never considered using one.

While ATS makes recruiters’ lives easier, it hardens the difficulties faced by the skilled workers looking for jobs. To understand the trick to beat ATS, we first need to understand What an ATS is and how it functions. 

Also Read: Tips To Land On To Your Dream Job In 2021

applicant tracking system

Source: Criteria Corp

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software application that helps businesses manage their human resources by enabling the electronic handling of recruiting and hiring needs. The software is largely intended to help the process of recruiting and navigating big databases of job applications. The system is also used to assist organizations in gathering, organizing, and filtering candidates.

Applicants tracking systems assist organizations in screening and shortlisting candidates and in engaging with them. ATS software comes with interview scheduling, assessment creation and comparison, message dissemination, universal search, and customizable import and export of data.

Several ATS alternatives are available for various enterprises, including large, midsize, and small businesses. Organizations can also pick their ATS preference from a variety of deployment models based on their unique business demands.

Why do recruiters choose ATS?

For recruiting organizations, the relative simplicity of completing an online job application presents the first hurdle. Hundreds of applications are generated for every online job advertisement, many of which are from unqualified job searchers who believed “it was worth a shot.” 

Recruiters and hiring managers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to stay organized and efficient instead of wading through a stack of paper resumes or a clogged email inbox. This solution is especially important for larger businesses that are concurrently hiring for various roles and departments.

How does an ATS work?

Applicant tracking systems gather resumes and store them in a database that HR managers can access. The resumes might be kept for a long time after the position you applied for has been filled. Corporate recruiters or hiring managers may search and sift through the resumes in various ways, depending on the system.

Applicant tracking systems match your resume to the job description, automatically. Taleo, for example, refers to this function as “Req Rank,” which assigns a score to each candidate depending on how well their resume matches the job description.

Also Read: Workers Now In Search Of Better Jobs And Better Life 

How to write CVs for Applicant Tracking Systems

To make things standardized and searchable, some ATS process the document into a digital profile. This poses a huge problem for the applicant as many ATS parsing algorithms are obsolete and ignorant, resulting in distorted or lost resume data. This implies that important keywords or information may not be imported. Consider what would happen if your most significant certification fell between the cracks!

Hence, an individual must create an ATS-friendly resume to ensure a 100% passing rate. Here are a few steps to ensure 100% passing rates in ATS: 

#1 Use keywords that are specific to the business

The keywords are the part of your CV that interests ATS the most. An ATS’s primary duty is to scan your CV and compare its content to the appropriate job description to find the best match. This implies your CV can’t be one-size-fits-all; you must customize it for each job application. Read the job advertisement attentively and explain your abilities and experience using the same terminology to ensure your CV passes successfully through the ATS lens.

#2 Use standard titles for your sections 

Applicant tracking systems use headings to browse through your CV, allowing the information in each part to be accurately digested and comprehended. As a result, make sure you utilize basic headers that the ATS will understand.

#3 Keep your resume simple and easy to read 

You must prevent the Applicant Tracking System from getting confused. The ATS should effortlessly explore your CV without being caught up by any complicated formatting features. Unfortunately, several formatting tactics that seem fantastic to a human eye may cause an ATS to become confused. Beware!

#4 Avoid any grammatical or spelling errors 

Any CV with a spelling mistake will be thrown away by an established company or hiring manager, but with an ATS, your CV won’t even go that far. An ATS will have no idea what you’re talking about, unlike a person who can deduce your meaning from a misspelled word.

#5 Always use full acronyms and titles 

Your ATS-friendly resume must be as simple and as feasible to comprehend. This implies that you should avoid using acronyms at all costs. An ATS may not tell the difference between a company’s full name and its abbreviated version.

Include both the abbreviation and the full title in your CV to be on the safe side. Everything from titles and corporations to industry jargon should be covered.

#6 Do not forget to follow up with the employer

Don’t allow the robots to make you forget who you are as a person. Don’t act like a machine just because the company has opted to use automation to expedite their applicant search. Finding a means to express your excitement and individuality may make an impact that lasts,

Though all large or mid-size firms are already relying on ATSs, do not let that discourage your job hunt. With these simple and easy-to-follow steps, perfect your CV and land your dream job!

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