ATS is a word that is continually used across the job market just now and there are a lot of companies out there making job seekers continually question their CV. Of course, you need to be aware of ATS when applying for work, but it is not as scary or as ruthless as some companies claim it to be. Here we set out what is ATS, it’s top three myths and how to beat the system.
What is ATS?
ATS stands for Applicant Tracking Software. This means that when you apply for a job for predominately larger companies your CV will enter their ATS. This means your CV needs to be in a format that will allow the software to grab your information and pre-populate their system. When the recruiter is ready to screen candidates’ CVs they will then type in search words and those CVs that have these words in it will appear at the top of the search results.
How do you pass ATS?
You have two things to consider The Format and The Keywords.
Format: it may be tempting to have a CV with logos, tables, pictures, maps, charts etc but this will not allow the ATS to pull the information into their systems. So, opt for a smart, impactful presentable CV to allow you get all your information through.
Key Words: You need to mirror the job advert here and this can be achieved in the professional profile and key skills section. So, examine the job advert here and mirror what the requirements are in your CV. There is no need to mention soft skills as a recruiter will not search those terms.
These are the two aspects you need to consider when applying for positions while ensuring you are ATS Compliant.
The Myths of ATS
- Companies stating, they have put your CV through an ATS and offered you a % score
Unless they are assessing you against a vacancy there is no way to offer you a score. They can certainly comment on the format as there are some layouts that will just not work but each vacancy is so different. In order to achieve a score, you need to be rated against an actual vacancy to assess how you match with the key words in a specific job.
- All ATS are the Same
This is serious misconception. It depends on how the company have refined theirs. They will have selected one that fits their company and culture. So, this is why you should mirror the job advert language in your CV.
- ATS has removed the Human Element
There is a claim that a computer now screens your CV, and a human will never look at it. Of course, your CV needs to be relevant to the role hence why aligning the language is really important. However, as the applicants are now in the one place this saves the recruiter time from looking through many emails. This means they can get back to everyone and spend more time actually looking at their CV rather than accidently missing someone in their busy inboxes.
So, in conclusion while you should be aware of ATS there is no benefit getting too worried about ATS. Use a simplistic presentable layout and mirror the job advert language, then your CV will be viewed. Then the recruiter can then assess your experience against other.
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