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In ATS, the “A” Stands For…

There’s more being automated than what meets the eye – some good, some bad

The bane of most 21st Century job seekers – regardless of age – is the ATS, the automated tracking system. Used by most large companies, the ATS saves employers hours upon hours of reviewing resumes which have been submitted for various job openings.

While this is good for the employers, it’s poison for job seekers – eliminating a large percentage of them without any human contact. A recruiter friend said that if you’re successful in one out of ten attempts to make it past an ATS, you’re doing very well. He added that success rates of one in 50 is more typical.

For older job seekers who haven’t been in the job market in the past few decades, this is an especially difficult situation to process. When most of us were looking for jobs, someone in HR would actually review and respond to our submissions. Today, that’s no longer the case.

That’s not good news for job seekers

Unfortunately for today’s job seeker, the bad news goes beyond that. Not only is it likely that no human will review your resume, if you’re fortunate enough to receive a response, that rejection letter will probably be automated as well. (i.e. The program will instruct the system to send rejection letter #3 to Mr. Jones.)

There is one aspect where you can beat them at their own game however. If you’re trying to find the email address of John Jones at XYZ Company, you may be able to discern it by seeing at least two emails from other employees at XYZ. Many companies adopt standard formats for their emails addresses – such as Armed with this information, there is a good chance that Mary Smith at XYZ’s email address will be

So while automation can be horribly impersonal and arbitrary, there are instances when you can turn it to your advantage.


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