How to beat an ATS: A hack for job seekers

The way the world is doing business is drastically changing with every passing day. From support to marketing to sales and now, human resources, business has been digitised in more ways than one. Software has stepped in to automate and make administrative tasks far more simpler than than they used to be. With this tech stepping in, some tasks have become much easier to execute for businesses.

But, just when you, as a candidate, think you are upto date with the tech advancements in business, something new comes up. For example, a software that pegs you down to numbers and figures to make it easier for recruiters to hire like the ATS software. And all of a sudden you feel like a fish out of water completely clueless about what this means for you. Well that’s fair because technology can alter the way you do things so rapidly its daunting and hard to keep up with.  

The ‘Applicant Tracking System’ or as its amicably known- ATS. With an ATS, recruiters can manage job postings, source candidates, parse resumes, schedule interviews and make offers, all from one place.

Using multiple tools and balancing between digital information and paperwork can make the hiring process really frustrating for recruiters. When it’s the season to hire, HR teams spend hours organising applications, scanning them, evaluating them, and sending mails to every candidate who has qualified to the next level. We haven’t even scraped the surface of the whole hiring process and it already sounds so tedious. But now, recruiters can perform these time consuming tasks in a much faster way using the ATS. It allows you to automate certain regularly carried out actions and can help you efficiently navigate between candidates, tasks and jobs from one place. This is why it is a one stop software to help save time and improve the hiring process, a blessing for recruiters basically. But as a candidate, this may seem intimidating because you may not fully understand how this works and how it will possibly affect your application for a job.

While recruiters can now relatively kickback and relax while the ATS takes a good chunk of their workload, candidates are now faced with a software to get through to the job they desire. Impressing and impacting people can be an easy task, but how do you replicate this for a software? One of the main issues that concern applicants is that the recruiters use the ATS to extract information from resumes. And once they do that,  they filter this data with keywords of qualities they are looking for in a candidate.

For example, if you are applying for the post of a Marketing Associate, they might search for keywords such as ‘communication skills’, ‘creative’, ‘multitasking ability’, and more. If your resume does not have those keywords, it’ll never be in their pile and it’ll never get read. Then you’ll have to apply for that post under the bridge. But I’m here to tell you that it’s honestly not as scary as it seems.

What you need to remember is if these are they are looking for a set of skills, they will definitely mention it in their job description. So if you include the keywords they are looking for in your resume, when it gets parsed the right content will get extracted and when they filter you are sure to be on that list.

So, there’s your ATS hack:

‘Use the job description to identify the keywords to include in your resume’

Told you it wasn’t as scary as it seemed.