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End Run Around the ATS

There’s more than one way to beat a computer

➔ If you’ve been at the job-search game for any amount of time, you’ve probably been asked to submit a resume or an application online. One recruiter compared this tactic to throwing your resume down a “cyber black hole.” He won’t get much of an argument from us.

While it may seem futile or hopeless, there may be a way around it – but it will take some doing on your part.

The games people play

When there is an opening, the degree of strictness regarding going through HR first will vary from company to company. Unfortunately, if you wish to be taken seriously – and to not unnecessarily tick someone off – you have to at least start by playing their game.

So, go ahead. Dump your resume down the cyber black hole. But don’t stop there. Don’t sit back and wait for someone from the company to respond. That may be a long wait.

There is another way and this is where the extra effort is required.

You know the job for which you applied. You should be able to determine what department it’s in. A little bit of sleuthing may uncover either the head of the department or the specific individual responsible for interviewing for that position. Note: the actual sleuthing will vary widely from company to company, job to job. There are various databases you can try, or LinkedIn. No one size will fit all.

If you can find out who the appropriate person is, call. Send them an email. Reach out in some way, shape or form. What’s more, when you do make your connection and they say, “You have to go through HR,” you can truthfully respond “I’ve already done that.”

Especially during the week of the Super Bowl, the old end run sometimes gains a lot of yardage.


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