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Resume vs. the ATS (or software that you have to get through before you are considered)

January 24th, 2014

I’ve seen a lot of conversation asking how to create a resume that will pass through the Applicant Tracking System software (ATS) that some companies use.

Before I go on, I should share that I don’t think that a lot of companies use automated resume scanning.  The companies I worked at, where I was in a hiring capacity, did not (and I’m sure at least one of them does not today).  Smaller companies that hire infrequently probably don’t have an ATS.  Hiring was something we did when we needed to, and we made it up as we went along, much like many startups would.  It’s not the multi-level sophistication that you would expect at a big company that hires a lot, like IBM, Microsoft, etc.

In other words, the advice in the link below will apply sometimes, with some target companies, but the strategy to get through an ATS is not an all-inclusive strategy for anyone who owns a resume.

AND, remember that you are supposed to try to network into a company as often as you can, as opposed to apply online for all the openings you can find.

With that in mind, check out this Lifehacker link addressing the issue.  They have a good graphic showing what an ATS is (as it relates to resume scanning), and some good points on how to optimize your resume to make it through the cuts.

How Can I Make Sure My Resume Gets Past Resume Robots and into a Human’s Hand?

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One response to “Resume vs. the ATS (or software that you have to get through before you are considered)”

  1. Thanks for sharing this article, Jason. Even if someone has read up on this topic in the past, there are new things here, such as the reference to Reppify.

    It’s tricky writing a resume that’s both ATS-optimized and human-friendly. Some people make two versions, but it’s always possible your “human eyes only” version will somehow make its way into an ATS. It’s a balancing act.