First of all, what is the applicant tracking robots or, as its more formally known, application tracking system (ATS)? We have all applied for jobs in the past, thinking we are the perfect candidate and then weeks later and we hear nothing back. The recruitment process has changed a lot in the past thirty years, and like every industry, recruiters are utilising modern technology to make the process quicker and easier.
ATS can post job openings on company website
s and job boards, filter the application and generate interview requests all digitally and all with little human involvement. Put simply, today you could apply for a job, and until the interview, no recruiter will have looked at your CV. It could seem unfair or wasteful in some scenarios, but it is the reality of the recruitment world.
But all is not lost, you can benefit from these digital systems by tailoring your CV. You could not only beat the ATS, but you could benefit from it. Here are our six tips for making your CV ATS friendly.
Know your Keywords
Including the correct keywords for a job application is the best way to get noticed by an ATS. Identify the terminology used in the job description which also applies to your skills and includes them in your CV. Make sure you keep it clear and precise if the job application uses terminology such as SEO, copy this exactly do not use different terminology or even Search Engine Optimization as the system may not pick it up.
You might find it bizarre that recruiters want to know your address but when using job boards, this can help you to be found. Often recruiter's searches are based on the location of the job. Your postcode is the most precise and most identifiable part of your address that recruiter can find. Its simple, but trust us, it works.
Be careful with headers and footers
In the traditional CV, headers and footers can look sleek and professional. They can help to keep your contact details on every page and in the past were a useful tool for not overfilling the two-page cv. However, because of the new ATS systems, information within headers and footers can now be lost and confuse the algorithms. Make sure your important information is all in the body of the CV to guarantee ATS can identify it.
Proof-read and Proof-read again
We are all human, and we can all make a little spelling mistake here and there. But, when a CV is being reviewed by an automated system, looking for keywords and phrases, one small spelling mistake can result in the ATS system missing your skills and rejecting your application. Proofread as much as you can and where possible get somebody else to proofread it as well.
Keep it basic
Following on from tip 3, APS's are often not programmed to recognise more complex data. Keep the structure basic, use popular headings and subheadings such as education, work experience and skills. Try not to use tables, images or graphics, again this just complicated the system.
Keep it concise
Recruiters have, for a long time, preferred bullet points to paragraphs to make the CV more readable but it is even more important now. Keep it simple, to the point and repeat some of the keywords from the job application throughout different bullet points to help you in the scanning process.
Overall, it's about getting yourself noticed and how you get yourself noticed is changing. However, some the old-fashioned methods can still work. Pick up the phone and talk to a recruiter to find out more information about the role you are applying for, send a smart professional cover letter and get in contact with recruiters in your industry so others can help you with the application process.
Struggling to find the right position for you in the first place? Our team at Calibre Search have the experience and expertise to help you find the role that will help your career development. Find out what is available on the Calibre Job Page. Call us on 0113 234 6047 to find out how we can help you. Alternatively, you can email our specialists, and they will be in to