Recently, there was an interesting conversation on ConnectBGS about getting your resume through the online systems and software that HR departments typically use to narrow down the number of applications they manually review.
BGS member Abbey called it “getting past the machines.”
It’s a fitting term, to be sure: the process almost completely removes the human element of human resources. But in the HR industry, they call it an applicant tracking system (or ATS). You’ve seen them before, even if you didn’t realize it at the time: you might recognize Taleo, Brassring, Bullhorn or BambooHR, among others.
How do applicant tracking systems work?
When you apply to a job through an ATS, your resume is added to a database for the recruiter or hiring manager. It gets scanned for relevant keywords and terms to determine how closely you match the job you’re applying for. Your application is then rated with a match score based on how closely your resume mirrors the job posting.
The ATS is used at many large companies and corporations—and it’s a necessary tool for HR managers to go through high volumes of job applications.
Since ATSs aren’t going away, let’s look at how to create an ATS-optimized resume for online job applications.