Understanding the Applicant Tracking System

Understanding the Applicant Tracking System

If you’ve submitted a job application online, it’s become ever more likely that an Application Tracking System (ATS) has scanned your application and segregated it into either the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ pile before a human ever sees it. Often a human only then reviews the ‘Yes’ pile for potential candidates for interview selections. That’s right: if you have submitted an online application and heard nothing, there’s a chance that it’s the ATS that said no.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) are software and tools used by recruiters to collect, scan, view, sort and filter candidates. In Australia, a number of the medium to large companies also use ATS systems and tools. The name may be a little misleading—these tools don’t necessarily track your recruitment; they are more like collecting and filtering systems.

These keyword-searching systems and tools vary in functionality from simple read-only keyword searches to complex algorithm systems that rank candidates. Online jobs postings often attract thousands of candidates, so an ATS enables employers and recruiters to quickly and easily search for potential candidates and narrow down the pool.

Beating the Bot

If you have been applying for jobs online and not getting much of a response, here are a few things to try:

●     Tailor your CV for each job application. The ATS depends on keywords, so adding these to your to your CV based on the listed job description will increase your chances of getting it to the human review stage.

●     Consider applying using an ATS-optimised CV. There are templates you can find online that are designed to be easily read by the ATS. Feel free to message me and I can provide you with one that works.

●     Use the Calibri font and upload your CV as a word document, not a PDF.

●     Use a site like Jobscan to see how your CV stacks up against the job description. You can then adjust as necessary to get a better match, making sure the CV accurately reflects you while also suiting the job you’re applying for.

It is also worth noting that some Applicant Tracking Systems scan social media websites such as LinkedIn, and this is another reason to maintain a well-designed LinkedIn profile.

Looking for more job and career tips & tricks? Keep an eye on my weekly blog.

Quote of the week: “Awareness is a key ingredient in success. If you have it, teach it, if you lack it, seek it.” –Michael B Kitson

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