An increasing number of companies move their recruitment processes to applicant tracking systems. Therefore, if you want to ensure that your resume actually reaches the desk of a hiring manager or recruiter, you first need to fine-tune your application so that it complies with the expectations of the hiring company and criteria taken into account by the ATS. How to optimize your resume for applicant tracking systems? Keep reading to discover 6 tips!
Table of contents
- What is an applicant tracking system?
- How to optimize your resume for applicant tracking systems?
- The takeaway
What is an applicant tracking system?
An applicant tracking system, also known as an ATS, is a software application that helps organizations collect, track, and manage job applications.
In most cases, when a company posts a job opening on their website or on a job board, they will also include a link to an online application form. This form is powered by an ATS.
Once an applicant submits their application, it’s then stored in the ATS database where it can be sorted, searched, and screened by the recruitment team.
There are many benefits of using an ATS, both for the employer and the jobseeker. This solution helps to save time and money by automating many of the tasks associated with the recruitment process, such as posting job ads, collecting and sorting applications, and tracking candidate progress.
Moreover, an ATS can also help to improve the quality of hire by making it easier to apply, identify and assess candidates who are the best match for the role.
How to optimize your resume for applicant tracking systems?
Are you wondering how to optimize your resume for applicant tracking systems? Pay attention to the following elements:
Focus on keywords
When an applicant tracking system scans a resume, it looks for specific keywords that match the job description. Make sure to include phrases that are most relevant to the position you are applying for. How to find them? Check out Google search results, related searches, and people also ask sections.
Make a list of keywords used in job descriptions and use them to create your perfect resume.
Keep your resume transparent and simple
Use a simple, professional resume format that can be easily read by applicant tracking systems. This means avoiding fancy graphics, colors, and fonts.
Stick to a traditional chronological resume format listing your work experience and education in reverse chronological order.
Provide the most relevant information
Applicant tracking systems are designed to screen out resumes that aren’t a good match for the job. So, make sure to include only the most relevant information on your resume so that it sounds attractive, and created just for this position.
Prepare your resume for both robots and people
After the resume is scanned by the applicant tracking system, it’s read by a recruiter. This is why it is important to make sure that your application is easy to read and understand, but at the same time shows a bit of your creativity.
Use simple words and sentences, and avoid jargon or keyword stuffing. If your application contains nothing but keywords, you won’t be invited to the interview, even if the ATS thinks you meet the criteria.
Mind your job title
If possible, use the same job title as in the job description in your resume. This will help the applicant tracking system match your resume with the listing.
If you have several job titles that are similar, make sure to include them all in your application, as the ATS may be looking for them specifically.
At this stage, it’s better to avoid creative titles like “social media ninja” or “software development guru”. Why? Because there is probably no company that would include such keywords in the ATS.
Double check for typos
Since applicant tracking systems rely on keywords to screen resumes, it’s important to use them correctly. Proofread your resume carefully to make sure you are using the right keywords and that there are no spelling or grammar errors.
If your resume contains errors, ATSes won’t be able to understand them and won’t qualify you as a potential candidate for the job.
When it comes to ATSes, it’s worth noting that each of them works differently. So, how to optimize your resume for application tracking systems? Research the company you’re applying to and find out which system they’re using. Thanks to it, you’ll be able to tailor your application to specific requirements.
This may seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth it if it means getting your dream job.