What is an Applicant Tracking System and How Do I Beat the Bots?

FindWRK Team

Categories: Future Of Work

July 26, 2022

Chances are that if you’re reading this article, the resume has become an old standby. Many of us continue to recycle the same resume for years, tweaking it occasionally to reflect current workplace trends and changes of employment. Or perhaps you’re just entering the workforce and are eager to avoid common mistakes and maximize your full potential with a standout resume. Whatever your reason, you’ve come to the right place. The modern resume is far more tailored than in the past. 

The Development of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Once upon a time, your resume would be directly reviewed by a hiring manager. How times have changed! In today’s market, jobseekers are tasked with creating an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) resume. What is ATS, you may ask?

An Applicant Tracking System is a computer function that isolates key information. This software application screens potential candidates to help digitally manage the recruitment process. In other words, your resume must first pass the robot test to receive human consideration. Here’s what you need to know about how to bring your resume from the past to the present in 5 easy steps. But psssssst there’s more! Get to the end of the article and you will get the top tips on how to step to the modern recruiting world.

How to Beat an Applicant Tracking System (APS)

1. Incorporate Keywords and Phrases 

For each new job application, a custom resume is advised. Not to worry! We’re not suggesting you start from scratch every time. What we do recommend is a thorough reboot of your existing document. This means that you should include keywords and phrases from the specific job posting and/or company website in the text of your resume and ideally, your cover letter as well. ATS is designed to identify this language and advance your application to the next level. Keep in mind that it is always good to keep any documentation up to date whether or not you are actively looking for a job.

2. Include A Skills Section 

Skill-based resumes have become more frequent in today’s job market where diversity rules. Be sure to add a separate skills section in your updated resume. Experts recommend a strategic mix of competencies, with several hard skills and a few, well-chosen soft skills. Once again, you’ll want to include direct language from the specific job posting to move forward in the recruitment process. Once you land an interview, take a look at our 5 Interview Tips to Help You Get the Job.

3. Use Action Verbs and Quantifiable Results 

Make the most of your skills and accomplishments through sharp bullet points. Actionable language will help to project a strong, confident image that supersedes typical jargon. It will also demonstrate your ability to achieve concrete results. For instance, words like ‘enhanced’ and ‘revitalized’ are bound to capture the attention of busy hiring managers. But don’t stop there. Quantify your results with numbers. Here’s a quick example: “Increased membership by 25% in 3 months.” The more specific and relevant your resume, the greater your odds of advancement. 

4. Avoid Busy Graphics or Charts 

With all the online options now available to jobseekers, you might be tempted to include busy graphics or charts in your resume. Think twice before choosing a complicated template. The best resumes are clean, consistent and easily readable. Want to get creative and use an original format? Go for it! Just remember that robots (and people) respond best to clarity.

The Takeaway

The idea of updating your resume can feel overwhelming at times. The truth is - Applicant Tracking Systems tend to be biased as they only look for keywords in your resume that match the ones listed in the job description. Basically, if you do not mention a number of specific words or phrases from the job description, you will not even be considered for the interview. 

If you also believe that ATS platforms are an ineffective way of recruiting you have come to the right place. FindWRK is the modern replacement of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). All you need to do is create your profile [link to the create a profile page], fill in your work preferences, and wait for the jobs to come to you. 

With FindWRK, you are not applying for one specific job that has one job description. Rather, you simply create a profile and upload your skills, experiences, and work preferences, and the jobs come to you. You can even add a photo of yourself for a more personal touch or upload your industry certifications to really make your profile stand out. Once you complete your profile, the jobs will automatically come to you as employers will unlock your profile if they believe that you are the right fit for the job. 

The best part? You have complete flexibility and control over YOUR job search, you're not relying on robots to make decisions for you. The jobs will be waiting for you when you are ready, FindWRK is like your personal recruiter.