3 Main Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems

3 Main Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems

Have you spent hours applying to jobs posted on company websites only to hear nothing back?

Have you been using the same resume over and over again when applying to different jobs?

Have you noticed that most positions these days require you to upload your resume into a computerized database?

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Well, that database is actually resume sourcing technology called applicant tracking systems.

Most companies use applicant tracking systems to automatically review a resume and determine if the resume is a good fit for the position. If it is not a good fit, the system may not flag your resume as a match, no matter how qualified you are. So, if your resume is not up to an applicant tracking system’s standards, it may not even get seen by a human set of eyes!

Here are three main things you need to know about applicant tracking systems (ATS):

1. Keywords are your friend: An ATS can scan your resume and determine if you have the required experience based on whether or not your resume includes keywords. The more keywords in your resume, the higher your chance of getting your resume seen by a hiring manage. Review each job posting you apply to make sure the same keywords are located on your resume.

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For example, if you are applying to a satellite engineer position, some keywords you may want to include throughout your resume are systems engineering, research and development, satellite payload and radio frequency.

2. Include all relevant accomplishments and tailor each resume: An ATS is a highly advanced piece of technology that has the ability to analyze information on your resume and then automatically calculate the number of years of experience you have based on that information. An ATS allows companies to determine which applicants may be a better fit for a particular position, based on their resume, so the more relevant content you include, the more likely your resume will be sent onto a hiring manager.

If you incorporate relevant, targeted keywords and phrases for the type of position you are applying to, an ATS will score your resume higher, so it is important for you to tailor your resume for each position you apply to. Yes, this means that you may need more than one resume if you are interested in different career fields.

In addition, include detailed accomplishments throughout your resume to make you stand out. Instead of copying and pasting bullets from your military evaluations (Fit Reps, OPRs, EPRs, etc.), make sure to re-phrase these statements into accomplishments.

If you need additional information on how to tailor your resume, read 6 Keys to Resume Effectiveness.

3. Formatting matters: If your resume is not structured in a way that fits an ATS, it may not get scanned properly. Do not use fancy fonts, headers and footers, expanded text, or text boxes as most ATS cannot ready this information and may keep your resume from getting into the hands of a hiring manager.

Do not write your name and contact information into the header section of a Word document for your resume. Some ATS cannot read this information, so your name and contact information will appear blank in their system… and they won’t be able to contact you!

Understanding this resume sourcing technology will help you write your resume content better and increase the chances of your resume getting past applicant tracking systems and into the hands of a hiring manager.

 

Now that you know how to write your resume, be prepared for your interview by reading 5 Embarrassing Job Interview Mistakes.

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2016-10-27T13:09:34+00:00

About the Author:

Amy Schofield has been in the recruiting, career coaching, and resume writing fields for 10+ years. As a certified resume writer and an active-duty military spouse, she actively helps transitioning veterans and military spouses reach their career goals. She is a Military Family Member Community Heartbeat Award recipient, serves as the Resume Expert for the National Military Spouse Network, and is the founder of the Military Spouse Resume Writers' Coalition.

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