APPLICANT TRACKING SYSTEMS (aka ATS)
Large companies receive hundreds of thousands of resumes per year. There is no way to humanly process them all. HR and recruiting departments are swamped. This has given rise to the ‘Applicant Tracking System’, or ATS, a service that is designed to break down the information on each resume and group candidates into easily-searchable fields using word recognition algorithms. The ATS is a useful tool… when it works. But word recognitions algorithms are notoriously imprecise as anyone who has ever used a resume search engine knows from unhappy experience. Word recognition has produced resumes of fork lift operators when one is actually searching for maintenance engineers.
Approximately 75% of resume applications end in a Resume Black Hole because they are filtered out by a company’s ATS simply because resumes are not formatted properly, or as we prefer to put it, they are not optimized. These resumes are never even seen by an HR resume reviewer, let alone the hiring manager.
Does this percentage sound high? Well, it is, but it can be considerably reduced by resume optimization. But optimizing a resume in a manner that it will pass through most filters and ultimately reach the hiring manager requires experience and expertise job seekers usually don’t have (unless perhaps they have worked in talent acquisition). How could they? Their expertise lies elsewhere.
Considering how pervasive this problem is we strongly recommend letting RESUME MECHANICS (SM) do the optimization for you in consultation with you. It’s a small investment that will pay large dividends in greater numbers of interviews and ultimately more and better job offers.