Beat the Computer

When applying for jobs there’s one thing you need to know and it relates to how your job applications are handled.

When you submit a resumé for a job role there are 2 ways they are handled:

  1. Personally
  2. Via Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Sending your resumé directly to someone via their email, for example, is a personal job application. It means you can design your resumé however you want. It can have professional icons, custom layouts, graphs, columns, fancy colours, and different fonts. In short, your resumé is allowed to look as AWESOME as you want it to. Heck, you can even send through an online resumé through a link.

However, ATS’s are a primitive form of technology used by companies to filter out job applicants for roles. It’s become a bedrock of employment and most recruiters and employers are reliant on them. 494 Fortune 500 companies use an ATS! The purpose of an ATS is to scan through 1000’s of resumés, extract and copy your information into a database, and then search for keywords. This creates big problems for YOU.

Sell the Hiring Manager

The ATS is likely the reason you have not heard back from the 99 jobs you applied for in the last 6 months. Did you know 75% of applications are rejected before a human even sees them? Including you! Here is what happens when you apply to a company that uses an ATS. Think of the ATS as a rusty robot from the 1980s that combs over your old-school word document as soon as you submit it to a company to formalise your job application.

An Applicant Tracking System, or ATS is an amazing piece of automation technology designed to help a single person manage thousands of applicants, 10’s of thousands of pages of writing, and millions of keywords, EVERY WEEK. Unfortunately, these systems also have limitations. What goes into the ATS on one side, impacts what comes out the other side. If a recruiter asks for applicants to hold XYZ qualification, or have specific experience with a certain type of software, then the ATS will prioritise applicants with those exact words in their CV. This is why it is so important to read the ad you are applying for, to identify the key skills and experience being asked for, and where you have them, make sure they are written into your CV using the exact words, spelling, and acronyms used in the job ad. This makes it possible to beat the Autobot and ensure you are ranked against the other applicants appropriately.

There are 3 important things you need to know about creating a resumé that works for an ATS and you should take these into account because many of the best candidates for the role don’t even make it to a pair of human eyes:

  1. The resumé needs to be sent in as a standard MS Word Doc. If this doesn’t happen the ATS can’t read it properly and it rejects you.
  2. Certain types of formatting, layouts, text boxes, tables, and document formats (PDF's) can’t be read by an ATS which means it automatically rejects you or scores your resumé lower than others.
  3. You need to copy in the keywords from the job advertisements you are applying for and repeat them a few times. To do this it helps to assess yourself against the key skills in the job advertisement and if you can identify yourself as having those skills, to ensure those keywords are reflected in your resumé. The frequency of keywords in a resumé that matches the job description is one of the criteria an ATS uses as it scans your resumé (and luckily companies always tell you what they are looking for in job descriptions they advertise).

It saddens us that the best people lose out on job opportunities because of this ATS process which is why we have provided version management functionality for your resumés and created a system that converts your beautifully designed resumés into MS Word documents compatible with ATS’s.

Tailored versions and compatible document types are the recipe for your job hunt success if you need to apply through online systems.

Our resumé builder allows you to:

  • Convert any of your resumés into ATS compatible formats
  • Manage different versions of your resumé, because tailored applications are important
  • Access your resumés from anywhere because they are stored online!
  • Professionally customise the look and feel of your resumé
  • Input videos and other forms of media (important for graphic designers, actors, and other media-heavy occupations)

"Many of the best candidates for the role don’t even make it to a pair of human eyes".

Jayden Kafanelis ZYGAVERSE CEO