An applicant tracking system (ATS) is the gatekeeping software that employers and recruiters often use to help them shortlist candidates.
It has other purposes, but this ability to organize and rank applications means you, as a candidate, need to know how it works. Armed with this information, you can then ensure your CV is appealing to the bots and the boss.
When it comes to ATS, it’s largely about ticking the right boxes. A human will still review your CV before an interview – but only if the system determines that you make the cut. So how do you do that?
If you follow these 5 ATS CV writing tips, you’ll succeed in showing the system that you are worthy of human attention.
1. The lingo of the system – keywords
An ATS is like a specialized search engine. If you know anything about keywords for SEO, then you’re ahead of the game.
When you type something into Google, you’re giving it a keyword to search for. The same process applies here. Your CV needs to contain keywords that match those set out by the employer.
The best suggestion here is to look at the advert, and the job description, if available. The candidate specifications in these will give you clues about the keywords being used.
2. Common job titles
Anyone from the world of work knows that a job title can be misleading. This is particularly true if your job titles, in your work history, have ever been particularly out of touch with common job titles.
Try to simplify your job title to the most common version out there. For example, if your job title is ‘Crew officer’ but actually you do the role of an ‘HR officer’, then use the latter. Bear in mind, you may need to look up the language the employer itself uses for its roles. Head to LinkedIn and see what titles they tend to use.
3. Just be clear
When thinking about keywords, it can lead you to think you need to dumb down what you’re saying. For example, you may think you have to list the term ‘teamwork’. You don’t; the technology is much cleverer than that.
What you do need to do is list experience and skills clearly and succinctly, in an evidence-based way. The ATS will be able to match this to the parameters set by the employer.
4. Formatting for ease
A good CV should be well laid out with plenty of white space and careful use of headings and bullet points. This same approach makes it easier for the ATS to ‘read’ too.
Keep fonts basic and consistent throughout. Don’t use graphics, symbols or tables — they could confuse the system.
5. Technical skills and qualifications
Let’s use an accountant example. If the job advert lists that you need to be CPA qualified, make sure you use the same acronym in your CV and list the fuller version of Certified Public Accountant.
The same applies to all qualifications, standards, and technical skills that are required for the job. Try to include the acronym and the full name.
Write for humans,
Remember; don’t just write it for the system. Write primarily for the human audience and you will be fine. The technology behind the ATS has been shaped to mimic just this.
And, once you’ve passed through the ATS, your CV needs to appeal to the recruitment team. Always remember if you’re stuck you can reach out to our professional CV writers. They will guide you through the process of polishing up your CV.N.B: 1.Dont Miss Out On Your Next Job. Let's Have Your CV. Upload Your CV Here. NB: 2. How Can I Advance In My Career?. Check Out Best Training For Your Profession.