The Job Search
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Getting Seen & Beating the Applicant Tracking System

For those of you who don’t know, recruiters at big companies don’t look at every single resume that gets submitted. In fact, the look at fewer than you may imagine.

Each time you submit your application to the great abyss (aka filling out an online form), that company utilizes an Applicant Tracking system. In this system, recruiters can tell the system what kind of applicant they are looking for. Based on key words in the job description and key words inputted by the recruiter,

HR managers will only see filtered results.

If your resume does not flag the system, the recruiter may never see your name or resume.

Beating the System- Since we know that results and profiles are filtered based on key words in the job description and elsewhere, it is now more important than ever to tailer each resume that you submit to each unique job description. By that, I literally mean that you should copy and paste key words from the job description onto your resume. For example, if the job description says “Oral and Written Communications”, instead of saying “Public Speaking”, you should say “Oral and Written Communications”.

Cheating the System– ATSs scan documents and profiles for words. No matter what color your text is in, the ATS reads it. You can probably see where I am going with this. You can literally copy and past the job description onto your resume, change the font to white, and submit that copy. The ATS will read those words and assume a very high correlation between your past experiences and that job. Of course, the recruiter can highlight the entire document and see what you’ve done. Then, he/she might be mad that you’ve wasted their time. However, you got their attention. I won’t say if I have or have not done this in the past or if this has or has not worked for me. But I will say that as more people adopt this technique, it is only a matter of time before ATSs catch on and are re-programed.


Keep moving Fourward,



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