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How to Beat the Applicant Tracking System: 19 Strategies


Getting an interview with any company personnel has now become harder than ever because chances are that your resume won’t even reach the man behind the machine i.e the Applicant Tracking System or ATS.

It because of today’s fast paced way of life and work environment, that organizations can’t always hire an employee to their liking and still be fair to the legion of deserving candidates.

So, the applicant tracking system has developed to handle the dirty work of whittling down a large number of applications and resumes. Down below are a few quick-fix solutions on how to cross the ATS barrier.

beat applicant tracking system

Secrets to Beat Applicant Tracking Systems:

1. Being to the Point:

Applicants advised not to use unnecessary words in their resume as it can reduce their chances of being selected. This is because the ATS is set to judge the applicants exactly as per the requirements of the organization.

Any kind of superfluity may harm the interests of the candidate. That is why special care to take on this front so that applicants do not lose out on the best of opportunities.

2. Having a Simple Resume:

Applicants ought to use simple language to avoid the risk of being misinterpreted. Since the ATS is software it may not be able to catch the vital points amid difficult language. So the candidate must go easy on language to help his cause.

Last but not least the skills of the individual should properly highlight the best interests of the company.

3. Proper Preparation:

Most of the time the companies to save time set the ATS to look for the best attributes on the first page of the resume. In other words, thousands of well-rounded applications throw out for the lack of utmost clarity on the first page.

So it is a necessity that the candidates give prime importance to the first page of their applications since it sets the stage for the selection.

4. Repetition:

Applicants must consider being repetitive relevantly to match the requirements of the company. For example, if it’s a mobile company, the organization is going to look for profound outlooks on the advancement of technology in the best interest of users.

So a candidate should include all the necessary points in repetition that caters to the need of the organization.

5. No Abbreviations:

Let’s not forget that the ATS, as it is, is a machine and more often than not is at fault while running through acronyms. So even if the applicant has written the abbreviation he or she must write it out in words.

Applicants should take notice that since the ATS focuses primarily on the first page of the resume, it’s better if the abbreviations hold secondary to the contents of the first page and kept aside for later use.

6. Spell Check:

This is a sine qua non in the basis of selection. Resumes with even a minute mistake in spelling is a red flag for the candidate. It is of utmost importance that special care take of spellings while writing up the application.

Any howler would brutally penalize and will simply lead to the rejection of the candidate. Spelling mistakes are a complete deal breaker in any literal undertaking.

7. Experienced vs. Inexperienced:

It’s quite a common problem to see one application outmatching the other in terms of experience. There is always this deciding difference between the experienced and the fresh legion of candidates.

One way out of this for the inexperienced applicants is to rise to the expectations of the company and gather all the vital points that will promise to bring the organization the kind of progress they are looking for.

8. Honesty is the Best Policy:

Sometimes the applicants lose their mind by going overboard in their application. It is never a good idea to cheat on your application as it invariably will get you in the bad books of the interviewer even if it gets you the interview. And your journey is most likely to end before it even sees the light of the day. So, lying in your application can never end well in the long run.

9. Formatting:

Most often, the ATS with its limits may not always be efficient in scanning the data in all types of format such as the pdf. That is why all applicants instructed to submit resumes in the MS word format.

Nevertheless, the ATS with constant up gradation is proving to be quite useful in all types of format. But at the same time, candidates still advise using MS word just to be on the safe side.

10. Be Precise not sketchy:

The applicants need to be precise without being sketchy. To say that the candidates have to include all the key information that need and still be able to thoroughly discuss as to why the company should select the applicant without being too verbose.

11. Hidden Talents:

Some applicants make the mistake of vomiting out everything in their bag in the initial resume itself. This needs correction because regardless of how essential it is to be sufficiently conclusive in the resume, applicants still have to retain the surprise element and bring out the bigger guns at an actual vis-à-vis interview.

12. Give Photo for Better Impression:

According to a recent scientific study attaching a photo to the resume increases the chances of selection for the candidate.

More so, it is a proven fact that having a picture enhances the chances of survival through the filtering by leaps and bounds, which is to say an applicant with a picture will outweigh one without a picture.

A pictorial impact has much to do with winning the favor of the organization, in case the resume gets past the ATS phase.

13. Importance of Grammar:

Flawless grammar is a must while writing a resume. The candidates need to use simple sentences and avoid complexities associated with grammar. Short and lucid sentences to use to reap the best of results.

Complex terminology is to be avoided at all costs. Words generic and relevant to the purpose of the company are to be used by the applicant.

14. Improve On Communicative Skills:

It doesn’t need saying that one has to be verbally at par with one’s resume. In other words, once past the ATS phase, the applicant has to appear equally adept at the interview.

Applicants advised to brush up on their communicative skills if needed. Spoken English classes over the era have proven to be an effective way of overcoming the problem. Nevertheless, in the case of a consulting agency one may walk the extra mile in learning one or two global languages in addition to what they already have in stock.

15. Orderly Use of Points:

Most of the time, it’s overlooked but an orderly use of words can do enough to ensure the selection of an abiding candidate. Since the ATS uses a pattern to grade the resume of applicants, it is a parameter that the categorical use of points is marked as superior to an awry resume. It is a simple strategy that can make a lot of difference.

16. Use of Generic Terms:

It is of absolute importance that the applicants know all the nooks and corners of the field they are willing to work in.

This is to say that sometimes while writing resume candidates miss out on the terms directly related to the organization they are applying to, which, in turn, is sure to backfire. So the candidates must learn up the generic terms useful to the resume and in the long run before applying.

17. Use Name for Subject:

Another important thing to remember writing one’s name for the subject because very few candidates ultimately remember to do it and thereby miss out on a golden opportunity to cross the reader’s mind. Even so, the ATS even saves the file by the name of the applicant making it easier for the interview board to assess the candidate’s present ability.

18. Adjusting Space Between Lines:

This compared to all is the easiest and still, the most forgotten hack to remember. Most candidates complain about not knowing what to include on the first page but no one thinks it through, as it is always an option to change the font size and adjust the gap between lines. This gives the applicants a better chance to elucidate to their satisfaction.

19. Miscellaneous things to keep in mind:

Lastly, at times the novice applicants find themselves at a disadvantage against the experienced candidates. To overcome this sense of inferiority one may get a few additional diplomas and certificates owing to crash courses to add more weight to their resume. Also, the right choice of words in the resume can do wonders in terms of selection of a candidate

Even though applicants are at the mercy of the ATS it is not insurmountable. The applicants will do well to remember all the above mentioned points. Landing a job with the ATS as the pre filter is not a daunting challenge as it seems to be. All the points given above would be extremely beneficial for any hopeful applicant doubtful of the plight called ATS.