3 Vital Strategies to Beat the ATS

Have you applied to a variety of jobs online, but haven’t heard back from anyone? There are a lot of factors that can plague your job search. One of those factors is failure to beat the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

By definition, an ATS is a “software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs.” Although the definition is vague and simply sounds like a management system for applications, an ATS also has the ability to scan incoming resumes for keywords/phrases that are set by the employer. Many corporations utilize an ATS as a pre-determinant of whether or not you’re the right candidate for the position, based on what you’ve included in your resume.

Knowing how to beat the ATS is vital because even if you are the right person for the job, hiring managers won’t know that if your resume fails to beat the ATS. To make sure your resume is ready to triumph, make sure you apply these strategies:

Well-organized resume

There are many benefits of having a well-organized resume, but one good reason is the direct correlation between organization and ATS scanning. The more organized your resume is in layout and format, the more success you have of beating the system. This is why we recommend sticking to traditional resumes that embraces a standard layout, rather than creative resumes.

Remember, your resume goes through an ATS before it gets to the hands of an employer. An ATS knows where to look for certain keywords that will help the system determine if you should get the interview. Don’t make your resume difficult for the ATS to scan. A standard word document that embraces a traditional layout is best for ATS scanning. Stay away from colors, graphics and funny fonts, or you may risk throwing off an ATS.

Use important keywords

Before applying to any job, you should fully understand what the employer is looking for. Once you’ve read over the job description and learned the skills needed, apply your understanding of the job position by including relevant keywords in your resume.

Remember, an ATS scans your resume for words based on what the employer has told it to. It’s customized for each position, so including relevant, industry-specific keywords, will help your resume get into the hands of a hiring manager.

Include updated contact information

Make sure to include updated contact information, including an e-mail you access daily. It may come across as common sense at first, but when you apply the tip to an ATS, the importance of including all the right contact information is high.

An ATS may be programmed to recognized applicants depending on their city. Maybe the employer is looking for a candidate within a certain distance from the position’s location. If that’s the case, the ATS will scan your city and/or even your area code. Furthermore, your e-mail may be used to update you on your application status, so make sure your information is correct.

If you’re still uncertain as to whether your resume can pass the ATS test, send us your resume for a Free Resume Review!