Today's Hiring Climate & Your Job Application
DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
—I’ve spent countless hours at my computer screen scouting jobs, sending application after application to recruitment job boards and even direct company pages, yet after all this, I have gotten no-where!’
This is one of the biggest frustrations faced by many Job Seekers, and it can become an overly stressful situation particularly if you need a job fast and feel like you’ve exhausted all your options. However, the lack of a response is also a significant indicator of the changes in the recruitment process.
You’ve probably heard of ‘ATS’ Applicant Tracking System. Understanding the role of ATS as it affects YOU is crucial in forming your career strategy.
WHAT'S ATS AND HOW IT'S AFFECTING YOUR JOB SEARCH?
LET'S GET INTO THINGS
UNDERSTANDING ATS AND THE ROLE IT PLAYS
Simply put (ATS) applicant tracking system is a software application integrated into the recruitment process for the management of candidates information. The essential goal of ATS enables the identification of candidates with the skills, education, and experience most desired or *required with the use of keywords among other things in the screening process of a job opening. Today, the majority of job and resume boards including LinkedIn, Monster.com, HotJobs, CareerBuilder and Indeed.com all have partnerships with ATS software providers.
The way ATS interpret your resume information depends a great deal on its relevance and compatibility - word usage, as well as frequency, job role, industry, formatting and even document type, will influence the outcome. Older versions of ATS are not particularly user-friendly recognising PDF and as a result, can distort the information of a potentially strong candidate.
RECOGNISING HOW YOU'RE BEING AFFECTED
During the screening process, many talented candidates fail to make it through due to an inadequate or incompatible resume. In other words, if your resume is not updated to be ATS-friendly for your unique industry and job relevance it will be screened out by an ATS and the recruiter or hiring manager will never even see it.
While there are significant enhancements to ATS including Next Generation language, it is not entirely updated across every major recruitment board so unless you are given specific instructions to send via PDF it’s better to have a back-up Word or Rich Text Format accessible.
OPTIMIZE YOUR RESUME
Optimising your resume is a great way to keep your information and formatting clear, concise and relevant to the industry and job you are seeking. A rule of thumb when reviewing your resume for job board submission consider this: - Artificial Intelligence will first interpret your resume excluding any flowery emotional elements or imagery - would yours be speaking correctly?
If you are using job boards, it’s wise to have a resume that is standardly formatted excluding any artsy touch of photos, symbols, logos and shading. Unfamiliar headings such as Affiliations, Publications, or Memberships can complicate ATS analysis. Keep formatting to word or rich text format since many ATS software cannot read PDF files well. Stick to the point: Qualifications, Professional Experience, Education, Skills, and so on.
Use Relevant Keywords
Content is king. Read and research job descriptions carefully in your field of work to stay updated with the correct words that build powerful meanings to the work you’ve done. An ATS will analyse how the content of your resume fits into what is desired and required to determine your ability to meet the job requirements.
USE SPELL CHECK
Spelling mistakes are the death of your resume and happens to the best of us. While a human being can at least figure out what you mean, an ATS will terminate you immediately because it will have no idea what you’re talking about.