Crash Course on Automated Tracking Systems

Anyone who has ever been a job seeker knows that it can be one of the most difficult times in your life. Reading one job posting after another, trying to tailor your resume to fit what companies are looking for… It is exhausting! Often job seeking is a lonely process with little interaction or feedback from the companies you are applying for positions with. One of the biggest hurdles is understanding if your resume is even reaching the HR decision makers!

Enter Automated Tracking Systems, better known as ATS. This software system is used to screen resumes that have been submitted online. An ATS is often at the heart of HR recruitment, especially at large companies where one posting can generate hundreds of applicants. ATS simplifies recruitment by automating the first step of the hiring process. It does this by both receiving and reviewing resumes, searching for the keywords that have been supplied by HR managers.

Why does this matter to you? Many qualified applicants are rejected by the ATS not because of a lack of qualifications, but because they unknowingly formatted their content so that the ATS cannot recognize it. Some sources state that as many as 75% of applicants are eliminated by the ATS as soon as they submit their resume, despite being qualified for the job.

How can you make an ATS-friendly resume? First, be prepared with two resumes: one to provide in person at an interview that is formatted in an easy to understand and attractive manner, and one resume that is just for submission via the ATS application.

A few helpful hints for your ATS resume:

  • Save as .doc
  • Use hyphens in phone numbers
  • Use San Serif Fonts (example: Arial)
  • Put zip code on the same line as address
  • 11- or 12-point type
  • Contact info in a single column
  • One-inch margins
  • Label Work Experience, Education, nothing unique or creative
  • Black text
  • List your best degree first
  • Left justify EVERYTHING
  • List skills under each job/experience, not separately
  • Straight type all content into the document
  • Put dates/ranges AFTER company names and use only the year

To learn more join us for Building a Better Resume on Wednesday, February 26th at 7:00 PM in the Naper Boulevard Library Program Room.

How an Applicant Tracking System Reads Your Resume
Posted: 
Friday, February 7, 2020 - 11:00am