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What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An applicant tracking system (ATS for short) is a type of computer software used by 99% of Fortune 500 companies and virtually any company accepting job applications online. There are several providers of ATS software out there, but they are all designed to serve the same basic function of helping a recruiter or hiring manager sift through lots of resumes.

Almost anytime you submit your resume online it goes to an applicant tracking system. The ATS then scans the text of your resume and compares it to the text of the job description you submitted your resume to. The ATS is trying to see how many skills and keywords it can find in your resume that match the job description. The ATS then attempts to create a picture of your work experience and determine whether you could be a good match for the job. If your resume doesn’t contain any matching keywords or skills from the job description then your resume will likely never be seen by a human.

So how can you make sure your resume doesn’t get scrapped by the ATS? Every time you apply to a job review the job description and look for keywords and skills that stand out. If you possess these skills, make sure you include them in your resume.

However, you don’t want to just stuff all of the skills in a so-called skills section of your resume. Strive to include these skills and keywords in your work experience so the ATS can associate a number of years of experience with the skills.

To get detailed analysis and see how your resume ranks with applicant tracking systems, head over to our Resume Match tool to analyze your resume.

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