How to Pass Through the Gates of the Applicant Tracking System

Have you ever had the right job skills and qualifications for the job, submitted your resume online and then never got selected for an interview? Chances are your resume lacked the right keywords to pass through the employer’s applicant tracking system (ATS).

It is estimated that more than 90 percent of large companies and nearly every Fortune 500 company uses an ATS.  It is also estimated that 72% of submitted resumes are never seen by a human eye.

Why the need for an ATS?  Recruiters will tell you that at least 50% of candidates don’t possess the qualifications for jobs being applied to or pursued.  The ATS was created to aid employers in obtaining the right candidate with the qualifications, skills and credentials to fill the position. Today, companies are using the ATS via social media, through sites such as LinkedIn, as another funnel to obtain the right candidates.

The most difficult aspect of being a job candidate and trying to pass through the gate of the ATS is selecting the right keywords and skills to emphasize in your resume. For example, if you are applying for a sales management position, your resume must contain both the words “sales” and “manage” in it to be picked up by the ATS.   Read the job description very carefully and make sure your resume includes keywords from the job description, but only if you possess those skills.   Recruiters will pick up on a job candidate who is trying to trick the system.  Make sure to include other things such as specialized or technical skills, statistics, figures and accomplishments as well.  Of course, make sure to proofread your resume before submitting it online.  If you must copy and paste into a form, have your resume in a word processing program to run a spellcheck and grammar check.

Having all of these things in mind, we recommend having a professional and certified resume writer review and craft your resume to ensure passing through the applicant tracking system.

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