I get many questions these days asking if I can write a resume for Automated Tracking Systems otherwise known as ATS, with a long description to me on what ATS is, in case I’ve never heard of them!
Well, yes, I’ve not only heard of ATS but have in fact used them in recruiting.
Truth # 1: This many come as a shock to you but ATS are not perfect and no resume can be written specifically to fit an ATS for an employer. Yes you can pull keywords from the job posting and put them into your resume when it applies, but more importantly your resume needs to read as genuine, telling your story of what you bring to an employer, specifically what sets you apart from all other candidates. Keep in mind there is no one size fits all resume, each job posting has its own niche and you need to tweak your resume accordingly.
Truth #2: You don’t know what your competition will ever be for any single job posting, with most employers using online application processes that run 24/7 with applicants today coming from all over the world and willing to relocate, your competition is far greater than it was say 10 years ago when most employers only pulled from within their own ‘small’ geographical area. So make sure your resume /cover letter highlight what you have accomplished, rather than using canned insincere language that is generalized.
Truth #3: What is more important to know is that around 30% of people actually get their jobs from their resume ‘fitting an ATS’, the rest, as you will often see/hear me say in my tweets and live broadcasts gain their jobs by becoming known to employers, recruiters and hiring managers. Those in the hiring process will reach out to their own professional network perhaps offering employee bonuses for applicant referrals or look at social media accounts for those with their area of expertise. So along with making sure you have a strong, well- written resume/ cover letter, is the need to broaden your networking and actually meet people and build professional relationships.
Truth #4: Networking is not a ‘one and done’ process. You can’t merely attend one function and expect a job offer or great lead, it takes time on your part and yes, patience, but in the long run this effort will produce more leads than you can imagine. But you need to start now, not when you want a job, or worst case scenario when, it’s critical to have a job.