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Written By :Pitch N Hire

Mon Aug 21 2023

5 min read

What Job Seekers Need to Know About ATS Systems in 2023?

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Are you not getting enough interview calls even if you're the best eligible? It is possibly because of the ATS system used in the recruitment process. 

Technology has improved the way recruiters hire today. For example, using an applicant tracking system has simplified sourcing, parsing, and selecting the best talents from thousands of others. In this blog, we'll share some essential tips for job seekers regarding ATS. 

What is an ATS system?

A massive 94% of recruiters and hires believe using recruitment software has made a real impact on their processes. One such latest technological advancement in the recruitment process is using ATS. 

The ATS system, often called resume scanner, is the software application recruiters use to streamline the hiring process. It mainly handles large volumes of job applications and ranks them according to relevance to the company requirements. 

There are multiple reasons why companies are using such systems. On the one hand, it is the speed and ability to select candidates for multiple positions simultaneously. On the other hand, it frees up time for the recruiter to focus on other core activities.

The better an ATS system is for the recruiter, the bigger the challenge for job seekers to pass through. Generally, a large percentage of resumes submitted to ATS are screened out. It is because they don't reflect the desired qualification, contain the required keywords, doesn't follow a default file format, etc. 

Therefore, you must have an ATS-friendly resume to get selected for a position. We will discuss how to make such resumes later in the article. 

How does an ATS system work?

Enterprise applicant tracking systems work in a simple yet unique way. It has a predetermined ideal candidate profile for a particular job role since accepting a job requisition. Additionally, the recruiter adds essential keywords for the job to the ATS. 

When you submit a resume, they will match its relevance with their ideal profile and rank it according to other resumes. ATS scans all resumes to check out for the keywords mentioned by the recruiters before selecting them for the next round.

Mostly the first few candidates are selected for an interview. However, ATS mostly doesn't reject resumes; it sends them to the end of the list. 

One big advantage of an ATS system for job seekers is it doesn't support discrimination. You will be selected for a post only for your skills, experience, and knowledge, not because of color, gender, and race. 

What are the best ways to optimize your resume for the ATS system?

Recent research illustrates that nearly 98% of Fortune 500 companies globally are using recruitment software, not to mention that most are using ATS. Therefore, job seekers can no longer apply for online jobs with their ordinary resumes. So, how are you going to optimize them for the ATS system? Here are a few tips for you. 

Use relevant keywords

While preparing your resume for specific jobs, incorporate its industry-related keywords and phrases. For instance, if you are applying for digital marketing manager, use relevant keywords like "social media," "SEO," or "branding." 

Firstly, you can determine the keywords by re-reading and scanning job descriptions. Then, pay attention to the skills and qualifications required for the job. Lastly, add all the keywords throughout the resume, especially its work experience portion. 

Choose an ATS-friendly resume format

More than half of the applications to big companies are filtered out by the ATS application system. Therefore, candidates must use a simple, clean, and universally compatible resume format recognized by ATS globally. 

Additionally, you can avoid adding images, graphics, tables, and headers or footers, which can confuse the applicant tracking systems

Customize resumes while applying

While applying for multiple jobs, you must customize your resume per their unique requirements. It is because ATS matches your resume data with the company's ideal candidate portfolio. Thus, they filter the most relevant candidates for interviews. 

Additionally, highlight your skills and experience on the resume that directly aligns with the job descriptions. 

Avoid unnecessary complex languages

While resumes create a strong impression on recruiters, keeping the language clear and concise is equally essential. The hiring manager may understand your application, but the bot or the ATS application system won't. 

One thing to remember is to avoid special characters on your resume. For example, writing "e" in the resume as "é" is not understandable by the bot, and it reads them as "r?sum?". As a result, your plus point is unnecessarily deducted, and you are ranked lower.

Select the correct file format

Most often, ATS filters resume out due to the wrong file format. These bots usually accept files in .docx format and some in pdf format. However, if the recruiter has already mentioned what file format you must use for the application, ensure you do the same. 

Proofread resumes before submission

Lastly, you must re-read the job application for typos and errors before submission. These may otherwise create a negative impact on your chances with Applicant Tracking Systems. Additionally, make sure you have consistent and suitable formatting. It includes using simple fonts, e.g., san-serifs, and no use of multiple colors or highlighting areas on your resume. 

How to stand out beyond the ATS application system?

While for job seekers, ATS is a significant hurdle to overcome; it's equally essential for you to go beyond that. It will help you stand out from the competition and maximizes your chance of landing your dream job. Listed below are some tips:

Network with professionals

You can leverage your network to reach out to potential employers or individuals of an organization. These personal connections increase the chances of your resume getting noticed.

Craft a compelling cover letter

You must have a compelling cover letter handy even when an ATS application system doesn't evaluate them; it is essential for recruiters. Such documents must highlight your motivation for the job, your unique skills, and a clear message of why you are suitable for the position.

Enhance your online presence

Presently, most recruiters look for experience on resumes and ask for professional profile links, e.g., LinkedIn, to get better insights into qualifications, skills, etc. Additionally, by improving your online presence, you gain access to relevant industry groups and get job vacancy updates.

Send follow-up emails timely

Your duty doesn't end immediately after submitting an application. You must adopt a habit of sending follow-up emails after a few days of no response from the employer. 

Final thoughts!

A new era of recruitment has evolved with the rise of technology, e.g., artificial intelligence and machine learning. This gave rise to better hiring candidates without discrimination and creating an inclusive workplace. However, for job seekers passing through an ATS system can be daunting, and we hope this guide will help you in the process. 

We at Pitch N Hire also use the Best ATS system USA, which is an AI-powered ATS to source real talents for companies. However, we provide guides, tips, and tricks to prepare ATS-friendly resumes so that you can qualify for the interview round. To know more, visit us today!