What is an ATS CV – And How Does It Affect Your CV?
Updated: Jan 25
The world of job applications is always changing. You can file a hundred applications in less than an hour thanks to the power of the internet. What’s more, you can even apply for jobs through social media these days! It pays to keep up with the times. However, that means you’re going to need to ensure your CV or resume passes a few modern tests, too.
Remember all the times you were told that a CV needs to pass a four or five-second glance?
You’ve got an even bigger hill to climb, now. That’s because many companies use applicant tracking systems, or ATS services. These programs, ultimately, help to automate how applicants and CVs are sifted.
What is an ATS, and What Does it Do?
An ATS is a piece of software that scans and sorts CVs and resumes. With so many people applying for so many different jobs at any one time, it’s become necessary to speed up the process a bit. This basically helps businesses rank the CVs that are likely to be most appropriate for the roles they apply to.
Believe it or not, over 90% of top corporations now use ATS to filter out applicants. 70% of CVs won’t even reach a recruiter’s desk. It’s harsh, but fair.
An ATS works by filing CVs and resumes based on keywords. It can look for people who are unqualified, for example, and automatically bin their resumes. Therefore, you may already face rejection the moment you click ‘send’. It’s a competitive world out there! Ultimately, an ATS will look for specific keywords and formatting to remove applicants that are unsuitable from the process.
How Do You Beat the ATS?
Thankfully, help is at hand. Plenty of people study ATS demands and therefore know how to get around its complex software. Therefore, there’s more than a few tips you can put into action to ensure your resume is fighting fit. Here’s a few good points to keep in mind if you want to pass the automated gatekeeper.
Don’t use a special template. Too much graphic design is only going to confuse an ATS, and you’re heading straight for the recycling bin. Keep it simple.
Use a relevant or appropriate file type. Most people use .doc or .docx, while others will believe .pdf is the way forward. Believe it or not, .doc and .docx are the safest file types to put through an ATS.
Use job keywords relevant to your industry. Avoid fluffy words that everyone uses like ‘motivated’ or ‘hard-working’. Look up words associated with your field that show you’re likely to stand out.
Include your contact details further down the page. An ATS gets easily muddled by headers and footers.
Make sure to convert your CV or resume to plain text before you send a .doc or .docx. This will let you see what an ATS sees when you send your document. Seem garbled or impossible to read? It’s time to simplify. Use bullet points!
Beat the System
Providing you keep it simple, beating an ATS is easier than you think. Want to know more about building a CV or resume that appeals to machines and recruiters alike? Get in touch with #FAC3 – and email firstname.lastname@example.org.