What is the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?
Unfortunately, the human element has been removed from the initial stages of recruitment. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have replaced junior HR roles. Once upon a time, budding recruitment managers with human eyes would initially scan a candidate’s resume for keywords and identify whether they were a suitable candidate or not.
Today, the ATS robot scans candidates resume for keywords. Unlike a human, who can scan the entire page and admire fancy fonts etc. ATS systems are rigid. If the candidate’s resume is not in the correct format, they will be deemed unsuccessful without a human even seeing the effort they have placed into their application.
There are many, many myths surrounding an Applicant Tracking System. When they were first introduced into the recruitment sector, they were painful and unusable in most cases. They have come a long way in the past decade. You used to have to make sure your resume didn't have tables, the headings had to be exact, you couldn't use colours. You couldn't upload a PDF.
Today, there are still limitations, however, you can upload a PDF and use colours, conservatively. ATS still doesn't like cursive fonts or light colours.
Some people ask me, can I use my LinkedIn profile as a resume? I highly recommend against this. For example, this is the link to my LinkedIn profile (Feel free to follow me!)
This is what my LinkedIn profile PDF export looks like:
This is what my LinkedIn profile export looks like in the Applicant Tracking System!
It is missing over a decade of my working history, I am nameless, the information under each position I have held is missing, not to mention the ATS would reject me straight away without even an unsuccessful email to let me know I had been rejected!
ATS is all about the format. Tables are fine as long as you know how to use them. Luckily, at The Perfect Resume, we do! All resumes get entered into an Applicant Tracking System to test their extraction rate. Unfortunately, we do get resumes that do not extract any information at all. These candidate's do not even reach a human before they are automatically sent an unsuccessful email.
If you would like your resume tested to see if the data extract correctly, please email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org for a free review.
On behalf of the team here at The Perfect Resume, we look forward to hearing from you!
The Perfect Resume Founder