Is the ATS blocking your resume?
By Chris Belbin
When building your resume, keep in mind more employers are turning to applicant tracking software (ATS) to identify suitable candidates. Decisions you make can affect how these automated text-parsing softwares respond to your application.
In light of this article espousing the inaccuracies of automatic hiring software, should you be worried?
ATS consists of programs through which resumes are parsed to quickly identify viable candidates from large numbers of applications. The software scans resumes and analyses them against certain criteria. Things like length of employment, gaps in employment, job titles, and level of education. It’s entirely automatic and its function is to provide the recruiter, hiring manager, or other, with a snapshot view of your experience.
Basically, criteria, qualities, experience, etc. that a human is looking for in the hiring process, but automated.
So what’s the problem exactly?
According to the Verge:
“… some systems automatically reject candidates with gaps of longer than six months in their employment history, without ever asking the cause of this absence.”
Should you be worried?
ATS is prevalent in the US, used by 75 percent of US employers according to the Verge. It is not yet as commonplace in Australia. Your resume would certainly be scanned in some cases, if you apply for an ASX 200 company, large companies, or large labour hire groups, for example.
However, government jobs and positions with companies are generally assessed the old-fashioned way.
Similar with executives and senior leaders.
If you are applying to a bigger company, your resume will probably pass through ATS. To ensure you are not rejected, keep your format simple, and avoid using images, two-columned designs, and busy templates.
You want the context to be the guiding force, not the parameters of a rigid template.
You still want to be designing your resumes in a word processing software like Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Focus on content rather than design.
If you’re worried about the ATS, use our free resume checker to get an ATS report completed on your CV.
So in sum, is the ATS hurting you?
In Australia, probably not. But you won’t know which employer is using one and which one is not.
So stick to what’s sensible just in case, and remember they’re hiring you.
Your content articulates your value; not a resume design.