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  • Richa Mehta

Beating ATS – Your NEW Resume Screener


An Application Tracking System (ATS) is a software application that is now replacing HR Executives in various stages of recruitment like Resume Acquisition, Resume Screening as well as Candidate Coordination. With 1000’s of applications flowing in for a single opening, this system works as a relief for recruiters from manually shortlisting from the Resumes. These systems screen out about 70% of the applications and thus leave out only 30% or less to be reviewed by the recruiter.


Almost 98% of Fortune 500 companies and more than 35% of small organizations use ATS. Even most of the job portals like LinkedIn and Monster Jobs have established partnerships with ATS providers.


Thus, as candidates to be all-ready for these upcoming Resume Screening systems, lets discuss about the Challenges faced with such software and also about the Areas that need Extra Attention so that our application doesn’t slip through the cracks…


Challenges with ATS Screening


- As most of the ATS software use keywords and profile background to search for appropriate candidates, sometimes good candidates who are switching careers are missed out.

- If the system comes across any resume that is different from what it is programmed to understand or too complex, resume may not be interpreted properly and sometimes thus be eliminated directly.


How to Optimize your Resume for ATS?


- Use relevant keywords as per the desired role as the common method that recruiters use to look out for resumes from a pool of ATS is by keywords.

- Use both long form and acronym version of keywords. Eg. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for maximum searchability

- Use traditional Serif fonts

- Do not use Headers and Footers as they may cause parsing error

- Do not use Tables or Columns as they may often cause major parsing errors

- Avoid any kind of graphics, charts or fancy bullet points as they may not be taken well by ATS.

- Use standard section headings. Avoid being creative here. For Eg: Do not use “Where have I been” instead of “Work Experience”

- File should be saved in .docx or .pdf format only

- Use standard chronological format














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