Applicant Tracking Systems and Resumes

Tuesday May 26, 2009

Applicant Tracking Systems and Resumes

If you’re applying for job after job you think you’re qualified for and getting no response, you might be able to change your luck with some simple tweaking of your resume.

In today’s hiring world, most companies send resumes through applicant tracking systems before they ever reach a human.  While it might not be very beneficial to job seekers, an ATS helps the company to create efficiencies in the hiring process.

According to an article by Examiner, an ATS is a software application designed for recruitment tracking purposes and to manage resume data. An ATS collects job-seeker information from data fields submitted on the company Web site, from applicants who apply on job boards or data retrieved by manually scanning resumes.

The ATS is programmed to sort through all the data that is submitted and identify keywords and phrases that match certain skill sets, years of experience, levels of expertise, industry experience, technical skills and other words and phrases.

In essence, the ATS finds the most qualified candidates for the position and submits those resumes to the HR department for consideration. While not a perfect system, ATS are generally cost-effective and can increase the odds of finding good candidates.

That means if you resume or online application doesn’t include the keywords or phrases the ATS is looking for, it will most likely be looked over and not even considered for the position. However, you can format your resume to be more ATS-friendly by including keywords and phrases found in the job description. You also can use a professional resume writer or job-seeking consultant.

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