What is an ATS? How to write an outstanding resume

ATS rejects millions of job seekers every day and they don't even know it. We'll show you how to write a resume that will make you stand out among the other applicants.

Person looking for a job in a laptop

What is an ATS?

ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System, a software used by companies to manage applications from people interested in their job openings. Since the job offer is posted until someone is hired. Some of the best-known ATS are Greenhouse, Pinpoint, and Teamtailor.

Now, let's see what the path is like from the point of view of the applicants.

When people are seeking a job, they enter websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, or InfoJobs. There, the job offer is detailed with a link to apply. When going to that page, they must enter their information and upload their resume in a data form. That form represents their registration to the ATS, specifically the selection algorithm.

The ATS emerged as a solution to make the hiring processes faster and more efficient. Thanks to the Internet, when companies post a job offer, they receive a huge number of applications. So huge that is no longer manageable for the talent acquisition team. The selection algorithm filters the most suitable candidates before presenting them to the recruiters. But currently, the software is rejecting qualified candidates because they don't use an ATS-friendly resume.

What does the selection algorithm do?

It reads the resume and compares it to the job the candidate applied for. If the selection algorithm calculates a good score, it shows the candidate's profile to the recruiter or Human Resources staff in charge of the hiring process. If not, it rejects them. Some have programmed the "kindness" to send an email notifying it. That's why sometimes you get a rejection email just two seconds after you applied for a job. But the majority discards you, without anyone reviewing your resume, and without notifying you!

The problem here is that, on the one hand, many candidates use visibly attractive resume formats. They write in columns, include their photo or images with scales from 1 to 5 to rate their skills. But the ATS doesn't get it. It doesn't read photos or images, nor is it configured to read text written in columns, and it ends up turning your profile into a mess.

On the other hand, there are people who do use ATS-friendly formats and who are qualified for the job. In the eyes of any recruiter, they would be good candidates. But they also end up being automatically rejected by the algorithm in the selection process. Why? Because the ATS is a system, and like any system, it looks for what it was programmed to look for.

What does the algorithm look for?

For example, the job posting says "Proficient in Office." In your resume, you write “Expert in Word, Excel and Project”. A recruiter sees your resume and concludes that you do meet that requirement, but most ATS will conclude that you don't, because they search for the term “Office”, and your resume says “Word, Excel and Project”. Office users know that these programs are part of the suite, but many ATS selection algorithms do not have this relationship registered, and they penalize you.

We tend to think that our resume is very clear and that anyone who sees it will realize that we are qualified for the position, but if it is not clear to the ATS, the algorithm does not qualify you positively and, in the end, nobody sees your resume.

That is why you need to customize your resume according to the offer.

How to tailor your resume?

Continuing with the previous example, instead of saying “Expert in Word, Excel and Project”, it is better to write “Expert in Office, specifically Word, Excel and Project”. The ATS will rate you positively and anyone who reads it will also understand which are the specific programs where you are an expert.

Now that you have a clearer idea of ​​what is an ATS and how to write an ATS-friendly resume, it's time to use it in your favor!

How to use the ATS in your favor?

At ATS hacker you can save your education, work experience, skills, and more… You create different versions of your resume using the saved data, without having to write it over and over again. You can customize each version for a specific job position, mentioning the keywords used in the offer. And, for each version, we generate a PDF file in a template optimized for the ATS. This way, your profile is read correctly by the system when you apply as well as by any person managing the hiring process.

Additionally, with our matcher, you can check the matching score between a specific resume and an offer to which you want to apply. We give you a list of recommendations and, as you follow them, you will see your score go up, which increases the probability of being invited for an interview. There you will be able to demonstrate your knowledge and experience, in front of a real human being, getting you closer to the job you are looking for.

Are you ready to hack the ATS?

Register here

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