Applicant Tracking System and How It Impacts your Job Application


You have crafted your perfect resume. Aesthetically, it looks well-designed, free of typos and you even got it proofread by a friend. You login to your prospective employer’s career webpage and with a sense of hope and enthusiasm, you press the "Submit" button. Weeks pass and you have not heard a word about your job application.

This is not something new. Chances are, your resume was not "ATS-Proof".

What is ATS

Applicant Tracking System ("ATS") is a software that employers use to manage the recruitment process. It automatically filters out thousands of resumes to determine which ones are the best fit for the respective positions. The ATS "glances" through your resume, scans for certain keywords and then makes a decision whether to pass your resume on to the next stage of the recruitment process. 95% of large organizations use some form of ATS and up to 75% of resumes are actually filtered out by the ATS. This means it never gets seen by the Recruiter/Hiring Manager!

Up to 75% of Resumes are filtered out by the ATS and never seen by human eyes

Over 98% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS

94% of Recruiters who use ATS are happy with the whole process

How Does ATS Work

Once a candidate submits the resume through an ATS, the ATS stores the resume in the database. The recruiter may not physically see the candidate’s resume as he/she will use keyword searches and if the resume fits those keyword searches, it will appear in front of the Recruiter. The keyword searches includes skills, experience and relevant qualification that is specific for the particular job opening. This means that if your resume is not tailored for that role and/or industry, chances are, it would get "lost" in the ATS database and never be seen by the human eyes.

"Jonathan Wong's experience appears to be strongly concentrated in Knowledge and Learning Management (mostly General Knowledge and Learning Management), and slightly concentrated in Sales (mostly General). Jonathan Wong has 19 years of work experience, with 11 years of management experience, including a mid-level position."

This is just a quick summary of candidate's resume after reading by ATS.

Who Uses ATS

The usage of ATS is more prevalent than ever before. ATS is used by a whole range of companies such as Google, IBM, Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and job portals. For instance, most job portals uses some form of ATS. This allows the employer to keep track of applications and candidates at a centralized location. It also allows the employer to create the job description once and advertise it to multiple online job portals efficiently. The importance of ensuring your resume is "ATS-Proof" is crucial in allowing you to land that dream job of yours!


...and thousands more

Top 5 Ways to Optimize Resume For ATS

Yes, ATS is a complicated software and perfecting your resume to be "ATS-Proof" is no easy feat. Below, we have outlined the Top 5 Ways to help you in your journey in optimizing your resume for ATS.

1. Bet On Quality Content

ATS are excellent in processing plain text but they fail in dealing with the graphics in your resume. This means that even if your resume is outstanding and visually attractive, it won't help you if you are among the 75% people filtered out by ATS. A reason for this is due to your resume being irrelevant to the job application or not readable due to the visual elements present in the Resume.

2. Optimize Keywords For Each Job Application

When an ATS scans your resume, it is looking for whatever search parameters the hiring company has set for a particular position. A hint for job seekers is to study the job description and notice the keywords and verbs used in the job description. Then, ensure you tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying to.

3. Show up Yourself on The Cover Letter

Many jobseekers pack their resume with so much information in an attempt to impress the recruiter. This includes their reasons for applying, hobbies, references and so forth. While all these can be useful for the job interview, but it may not be ATS-Proof. Instead, it is recommended to supplement your resume with the cover letter. The Cover Letter would describe your motives for applying as well as other relevant information that should be avoided in the scope of your resume.

4. Be Careful When Using Resume Templates

This is many jobseekers "go-to" tool when crafting a resume. One just needs to run a Google Search on "templates for resumes" and there are tons of free resume templates out there. However, many of these templates are filled with graphics, images and tables. While it looks appealing to the eye, but the ATS won’t be able to "read" the content in there. So watch out and make sure your resume is ATS friendly.

5. The Simple Stuff Matters!

You may do everything of the above, but one wrong spelling mistake in your resume and you may not be called for an Interview. Stick to traditional headings like Summary, Work Experience, Education and Skills so ATS can easily extract your content. Use modern and clean fonts such as Calibri or Gill Sans rather than out-dated and widely used Times New Roman.

ATS Friendly Resume With Resumetion

At Resumetion, we take pride in helping you move that 1 step closer to landing your dream job. We bring a pool of talented resume writers and we take great care in ensuring every resume is tailored to not only fit your career needs, but also to ensure it is "ATS-proof" via our own ATS System.

Our Free Resume Review services runs your resume through the ATS and highlights the gaps or areas of improvement to your resume. Our paid services are of greater value in propelling you to your dream job. On top of utilizing our ATS, we have a pool of qualified and experienced Executive Resume Writers to ensure your resume is of the highest quality! A stringent internal quality check is conducted by the Co-Founders to ensure the newly crafted resume is of the desired quality and is personalized to meet your career needs.

If you are interested to learn more about how can help you in your career journey, please click here and start your 30-minute phone-consultation with our experienced Resume Writers!

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