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Working the Network

ATS doesn’t have to be the end of the line

Among the many harsh new realities of job seeking in today’s workplace – and this is especially true for the older job seeker – is trying to cope with the ATS – Automated Tracking System.

Sit down with any group of older job seekers and raise the subject of ATS and watch the fur fly. Those who aren’t outright complaining about the digital disqualifiers, are voicing their frustration at trying to “pick the lock.”

The bad news about the ATS is that, according to Jobscan, 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies use some form of ATS. The even worse news that a typical ATS will weed out as many as 75 percent of the applications before they’re seen by human eyes.

If they’re not seen by human eyes, then where do they go? Good question. No one fully knows the answer.

So what’s a body to do? Most experts agree that, if this is a position in which you are highly interested, you might want to “network the ad.” That is to say, use your network – including your LinkedIn network – to find someone else at the company whom you may know. Or, you can use LinkedIn search functions to find someone who works there.

Using that leverage may be just enough to move you ahead of dozens of other candidates whose applications took a tumble down the rabbit hole that is known as an ATS.


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