Cover Letter
June 4, 2021

What is an ATS and why should I care?

What is an ATS and why should I care?

Maybe you are applying for your first job or maybe you are looking to switch jobs. Either way, we know how stressful and overwhelming it can be especially if you are struggling to land interviews. One reason for this is many companies, especially Fortune 500 companies, are increasingly using what is called ATS and many people are unaware or unsure of what it is and what it means for them.


So, what is an ATS? ATS stands for applicant tracking system and is used by companies and businesses as part of their hiring process. ATS is used to sift through submitted resumes, especially at larger companies, which typically receive a higher volume of resumes. 


The introduction of ATS to the job searching process now uses a computer as the first line of defense job seekers need to tackle rather than an individual. Subsequently, this forces job seekers to use a very regimented format when creating a resume. ATS is very useful for large companies to quickly remove any unqualified applicants from the process. However, this also means the job seeker needs to be aware of what the technology is, how it works and how you can adapt to it.


The usage of ATS has made it critical to have the right kind of formatting, language, and terminology on your resume for any job or company you are applying for. Otherwise, you may risk getting tossed into the reject pile before even getting a chance to speak with someone even if you are qualified. 


The ATS system automatically ranks you based on how well the words on your resume match what they are looking for and then automatically ranks candidates based on that. The employer can then go in and pick from the top of the list based on how many keywords on your resume matched the company's desired description. Don’t let this be you. We recommend using outside resources such as our resume enhancement package or sites such as Skillsyncer which can help you create a perfect resume match for any job. 


Here are just some adjustments you can use to work around any ATS:

  • Use relevant keywords from the qualifications and job description
  • Use a clean and simple format 
  • Use round bullet points 


With the increase in usage of ATS, especially at larger companies, it is now more critical than ever to ensure your resume is ATS friendly. Luckily, you are in the right place by connecting with us here at Spark Your Resume. While this blog serves as a brief overview, our free 15-minute phone consultation can help you decide which of our services can best serve you and ensure our resume is properly written and formatted for ATS for your specific job application.

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