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HomeAppsJob Search Decoding: How to Beat the ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

Job Search Decoding: How to Beat the ATS (Applicant Tracking System)


An applicant tracking system, also known as ATS, is a software solution that takes care of your recruitment needs electronically. Many SMBs and large organizations prefer investing in the ATS system for automating and accelerating their hiring process. Though an ATS is a time-saver, it is often not reliable as it ends up rejecting resumes of qualified applicants due to technical glitches or because the resumes are differently formatted.

Though an ATS serves as a boon for recruiters, it is quite intimidating for job applicants that do not know how the software functions. Therefore, to make things simple for you, we will share few tips in this post so that you can slay the ATS bot like a pro and get a job interview. So here we go:

1. Keep Your Resume Simple:

ATS is repulsive to fancy resumes; therefore, make sure you do not highlight your resume with colors, charts, boxes, unwanted symbols, images, and fancy words, as these are not readable to the ATS bots. Though contemporary ATS systems can read unusual fonts and fancy bullets, you do not know if the organization you are applying to will be using the contemporary ATS. Therefore, to be safe, it is advisable not to put unnecessary effort to make your resume stand out.

2. Optimize with the Right Keywords:

An ATS is dependent on keywords. Since a lot of application tracking software leverage AI-enabled technology, they categorize resumes based on algorithms that look for particular keywords within the resumes. Therefore, make sure you add relevant keywords to make your resume ATS-optimized.

To know which keywords are appropriate for your resume, go through the job description for the position you are applying for, and identify the common terms that have been used frequently throughout the job descriptions. If you possess the frequently mentioned qualifications, make sure you incorporate those terms into your resume.

3. Choose the Standard Format:

Though PDFs are considered the best format for maintaining the originality of your resume, not all PDF files are compatible with all ATS. Therefore, it is advisable to keep the format simple and use standard fonts and bullet points, along with simple language in your resume and save it as MS doc. At the same time, make sure you avoid using unfamiliar sections and add the customary headings such as professional experience, educational qualifications, skills, and so on.

4. Be Descriptive:

Be as descriptive as you can when you expound your professional experience in your resume. At the same time, don’t shy away from illustrating your professional achievements as talking about your accomplishments in details makes your resume look better. However, while being descriptive, make sure you are replicating the language of the job description.

5. Check for Typos, Grammatical Errors, and Abbreviations:

The slightest spelling mistake or grammatical error makes the ATS miss important keywords, and consequently, your resume may get rejected. Therefore, make sure your resume is free from typos and grammatical errors. Last but not least, do not use the acronym form of an organization as ATS bots are not capable of differentiating between the full title of an organization and its acronym.

The Bottom line

Adhering to the tips cited above will help you beat the ATS bots with ease. Though employers worldwide are automating the process of candidate search, you need to look beyond the ATS to get your dream job.  Creating an ATS-optimized resume is important; however, it is equally important to utilize your professional connections on Linkedin so that you can reach out to recruiter working in the organization of your choice and earn yourself a second look.

Author Bio:

Shrushti K. Chaware Works as a Digital Marketing Executive, at SoftwareSuggest. Well-Versed in Technical Niche’s, always curious to explore new stuff. Currently working on some popular keywords like MLM Software & Salon Software,  When she is not working hard at work, she can be found writing, reading or just wandering.


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