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How to Beat An Applicant Tracking System right skills to your resume

16 Jun 2021


right skills to your resume

How to Beat An Applicant Tracking System right skills to your resume

Are you a job seeker looking to begin a new career with the company you have always dreamed of since your graduation?

Your dream company might likely be using applicant tracking systems to review your resume application. After all, recruiters don't have ample time to spend hours and hours reviewing every resume individually. So, how to make your resume ATS friendly or, in shorter terms, to make ATS Resume that beats the applicant tracking system?

That's precisely what we'll be going through in this guide. If you find yourself asking how to beat the ATS and reach the job interview phase, keep reading on. 

We'll be answering everything about the ATS resume you need to know in this guide.

What is an applicant tracking system?

ATS, applicant tracking system are software applications that scan resumes and other job recruitment files and documents for relevant keywords such as job descriptions, skills, educational background, and job titles. To pass your resume in an ATS scan, it must be formatted correctly and include the right keywords.

What Is an ATS Compliant Resume?  

An ATS-compliant resume or ATS Resume is a document curated to let the ATS parses the resume application with ease. The formatting of the tracking system is simple and easy to scan. ATS resumes also contain specific keywords that match the job description, highlight relevant professional skills and work experience. 

What Do Applicant Tracking Systems Look For in Resume?

The applicant tracking system (ATS) will thoroughly scan your resume and compare it with the job description. 

The hiring managers want to know whether you've taken the proper time to research the company. If the candidates do not match the exact requirements set by the HR panel (e.g., you don't match the keywords or skills), you won't be able to pass the first phase.

To be more concise, applicant tracking systems sort out things on your resume such as:

- Relevant keywords

- Simple resume format

- Relevant work experience

- Qualifications

- Education 

- Grammar and spellings

- Clear headings

- Resume font

Features such as your grammar and resume font are much crucial than you think.

If the format of your ATS Resume is out of track or there are minor grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, then your resume will be immediately sent to the rejected candidates list. 

With this thought in mind, it is a must your resume meets the ATS Resume content expectations and the technical part.

Also read: Resume mistakes that can cost you a job

How To Beat The Applicant Tracking System?

There are different approaches to go about with the applicant tracking software. Continue to read to look at each critical step you need to take to guarantee you beat the ATS Resume test so you can get employed for your next career. 

1. Apply To The Job only If You're Qualified For It 

It may sound strangely straightforward; however, there are heaps of job searchers out there who commit the same mistake of applying to every job. 

This is the applicant group that the recruiters need to stay away from at all expense.

What happens is, candidates will send applications to different job posts regardless of whether they're not qualified for it. Likewise, they'll send the same resume without any changes to various job vacancies irrespective of whether the prerequisites are outside their expertise. 

It's wastage of your and your employers' time. So, don't do it. 

Before you even choose to make an application for the job opportunity, ensure you're really qualified for it. 

2. Just Apply to One Job Per Company 

The only exemption for this rule is if the organization has another job opportunity that is basically the same as the one you were first applying for.

In any case, if they're two totally different job posts and nothing similar, simply forget about it. 

The ATS can identify every one of the applications you've made for their organization. When the recruiter sees that you've gone after irrelevant positions more than once, it doesn't have a decent impression.

3. Implement The Relevant Keywords

This is one of the primary reasons is why doing in-depth research is so crucial.

You need to know what keywords or skills or keywords hiring managers are specifically looking for. There’s a better chance they’ve set the ATS to identify whether these things can be found on your resume or not.

How do you find out what HRs are looking for?

Analyze the job description properly. Look at what type of specific skills recruiters are looking for, the expertise and strengths that the company currently requires. If none of these skills and strengths are shown on your resume, it's a red flag and signals your resume isn't relevant. 

1. Link Your Keywords When Going Into Detail

When you're going in-depth about a work experience or specific skill and describing it, that's the perfect time to connect your relevant keywords.

But, don't stuff them forcefully into your resume; make sure the keywords flow well naturally.

This allows the employers to pick up how valuable you are to benefit by seeing what you're capable of. So don't simply label your keywords and skills; talk about the ways you've used them to deliver a positive result. 

2. Include Relevant Work Experience

Overall, your work experience is one of the essential resume sections.

Employers are keen to know how familiar you are with the ropes and understand what you have done now and what you need to be doing in the future. Do you really want to maximize your chances of getting hired?

Then, customize all of the resumes you send for each job description and firm you apply for. When you're chasing a job, it's not enough to hunt it on the basis of just one resume. You also need to ensure that you're updating them timely along the way of your successful professional journey.

This is one of the significant ways to ensure everything on your resume is apt as per the company values. It also shows them you're the ideal candidate for the job.

3. Forget Images or Graphic Designs

Colour and images are a big no when it comes to ATS resume formats. Application tracking systems won't pick up such things.

Forget trying to look fancy or complex, and it doesn't increase your chances of getting hired. The important thing in your ATS resume is to have clarity, so aim for simplicity instead. 

Also Read:Things you should never include in your resume

4. Use Bullet Points

Talking about the ATS resume, bullet points are significant leverage. 

When you're about to detail any resume section, make sure to use bullet points as they make your resume highly readable. It really does wonders and benefits you in more ways than you realize.

5. Proofread Your ATS Resume

Now, you might be extremely close to creating a flawless ATS resume.

You've followed all the job description instructions, and you've included everything the employers want to see except for any minor grammar mistake or syntax error that ruins the perfectly crafted resume.

A simple spelling mistake tends to remove all the credibility or authenticity your resume application might have portrayed. It is always recommended by career advisors to check your resume thrice.

However, once you've clicked the submit button, there's no going back. Before sending off your ATS resume to your dream company, be sure you've double-checked it.

Final Thoughts 

Here's all you need to keep in mind about curating the ATS resume:

- The Applicant Tracking System helps the recruiters manage time-taking recruitment processes by identifying qualified candidates.

- The ATS scans resumes and scores them as per the criteria pre-set by HR.

- Even though you can never know the exact criteria an employer chose, you can treat a job description as a benchmark for your ATS resume.

- A decent ATS resume should always be tailored to the job position you're seeking and use an ATS-friendly resume template.

Also read: How to get your resume ready for a job search

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