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Getting Around an Employer's ATS Screening Process

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

➔ An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is software used by some employers to screen job applicants before any human review. These systems are designed to quickly scan and sort resumes, using algorithms to identify the most qualified candidates for a position. While saving time for the HR department, many resumes are eliminated before reaching a human recruiter.

As a job seeker, it can be frustrating to feel like your resume is getting lost in a black hole. We have some tips for getting around an employer's screening process and getting you to the right human contact.

Beating them at their own game

Customize your resume: Always match the specific keywords and qualifications listed in the job description. Use similar wording and phrasing will demonstrate that you have the skills and experience required for the position. This will help your resume stand out in the automated eyes of the ATS.

Use standard formatting: Stick to a simple, easy-to-read format for your resume. Using tables, columns or other formatting can confuse the ATS. Use standard headings and bullet points to organize your information.

Focus on relevant experience: Highlight the skills and experience that are most relevant to the job. This will help the ATS quickly identify your qualifications and increase your chances.

Avoid graphics and images: The ATS may have trouble reading graphics or images on your resume, so it's best to avoid them altogether.

Apply directly on the company's website: Some companies have their own application portals that bypass the ATS altogether. Applying directly on the company's website can increase your chances of getting in front of a human.

Network: Networking can be an effective way to get around the ATS. Reach out to someone at the company through LinkedIn or other professional networks. They may be able to refer you directly to a recruiter or hiring manager.

An ATS screening process can be a massive time saver for the company while be extremely frustrating for the candidate. The good news is that there are ways to beat them at their own game.


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