Did you know that when you first apply for a job your CV isn’t always read by human eyes? This is because some employers receive applications in the hundreds. Considering there aren’t enough hours in the day to read through every single one fully, recruitment technology helps recruiters and hiring managers to manage their heavy workload.
If this is the case, employers will use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to handle their recruitment needs. An ATS is essential for companies dealing with high volume recruitment. To manage job applications, candidates, job adverts and open vacancies. With some employers choosing automated integrations to provide even more time-saving benefits, such as automated CV screening technology.
How to recognise an employer using an ATS
40% of employers use an ATS. But how do you know for sure that the next job you apply for will use technology to screen your application?
Well, when you next visit a job board, notice the redirection URL when you click the ‘apply’ button. As here it will often state the ATS website. Further to this, when you reach the careers page of your chosen employer, it may say at the end of the text the ATS they use, such as iCIMS, Greenhouse or SuccessFactors.
3 ways to beat the recruitment bot
1. Get the layout right
The layout of a CV is incredibly important to boost your job chances. These are our top snippets of advice for perfecting your CV format and making it ATS compatible.
File type – submit your CV as a Microsoft Word document, Google doc or equivalent as this is standard for most office practices. When considering a PDF format, it’s worth remembering that not all ATS software can read this file type, which would mean an automatic rejection for your application.
Header and footer – avoid including any key information into the header or footer. As not always can an ATS process this. Keep out key details surrounding your contact and location info – just to play it safe.
Images – fancy images, banners, tables or other format aesthetics are best avoided. Most screening technology will not take this into consideration and will consequently make no difference to your job chances – expect take up valuable CV space!
2. Include the right keywords
Keywords are what CV screening software is programmed to look for. They scan your application and determine your job matching position based on how well you suit the potential role. Therefore to ensure you make it past the initial screening process, incorporate keywords into your CV that reflect those from the skills and experience section in the original job ad (only if you have them of course!).
Remember to not go overboard. Stuffing your CV with ALL of the keywords you can think of, just won’t work. Recruitment software is now intelligent enough to realise your new tactic and human recruiters won’t be too impressed if your CV does happen to advance.
Job titles are incredibly valuable in helping you beat the recruitment bot. Your CV must contain current and past job titles that screening software will recognise as a job matching title. What we mean by this is, if your given job title for a previous role is very niche to the company you work for, then to play it safe create a title that reflects the skill you specialise in. For example, the recruitment bot may not recognise (or will rank low) ‘Internal Creative Branding Strategist’ and instead will prefer the title ‘Brand Manager’.
It’s also very important to make clear the dividing sections to your CV. For example, work experience, education history, skills, interests and achievements should be evident in your CV. Avoid changing the names to these sections and keep them as generic as possible. This is because recruitment software is programmed to search for these headings and alternatives may not suffice.