Beating Applicant Tracking Systems and getting past resume screeners

Beating Applicant Tracking Systems and getting past resume screeners

Are you sending out numerous job applications and not getting any feedback? You are applying for jobs you know you are more than qualified but still not receiving any feedback? Welcome to the new (well not so new anymore) world of recruiting where resume screening applicant tracking systems are filtering as much as 80% of resumes sent to a job application. Recruitment became semi automated due to massive rise in job applications for each job opening. With the rise of job portals applying for multiple jobs become super easy and one can easily apply for hundreds of jobs each day. Imagine you are posting a job opening and you receive over one thousand applications, how is anyone supposed to go through each and everyone, it is impossible. The only possible solution was to automate the first step and eliminate around 80% of applications even before they arrive to an actual person.

Nowadays almost all recruitment agencies and most companies with an in-house recruitment function use some form of applicant tracking system to handle job postings and resumes. Applying to a job online means that resume screening software stands between you and a job interview. To land an actual interview, you need to know what the resume screener is looking for in your application. Recent enhancements in this tools include the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools and natural language processing (NLP) to automatically screen your CV. This means that your CV is not being screened by an actual person in the first round anymore so even if you are super qualified and are the right person for the job but your CV does not include the required keywords no one will actually read your application.

Please note that this is not the case for all job postings in all countries but applies for jobs that are high in demand and many people apply for them. This is especially the case for jobs that can be done remotely as everyone from entire world can apply to them and one can imagine that jobs like that are scarce and competition is fierce. If you have or would like to have the lifestyle of a digital nomad the you should really read this article. 

You can also read how to add some passive income in our Ideas for passive income you can start today article.

The process of reviewing and evaluating resumes has changed and is evolving fast. Today, a job seeker must adapt to the new practices of candidate screening in hope to move past resume screening software and onto the interview as the idea isn’t to replace human screeners entirely. Resume screeners just filter job applications that are lower quality by their standards. Unfortunately automatic screening technology is not advanced enough to be 100% accurate so a lot of high quality applications get filtered out just because they don’t have the right keywords included in the resume.

Resume screeners

Resume screener will analyse your resume and tell you whether it’s a good match for the job are applying for. It doesn’t know how good you are and what value did you bring to your former company, it just screens for keywords so don’t take it personal if you don’t get past resume screeners.

If you want to get hired (if you are reading this than I assume you do), you’re going to have to get comfortable with the new resume screening software. As long as employers will rely on applicant tracking robots to screen resumes, qualified job seekers’ have to adapt in order to pass them successfully. The first thing you need to do is to understand exactly how these systems work. While the entire concept of getting past applicant tracking software and robots sounds simple in theory, it can be a big challenge to those who haven’t mastered the art of writing resumes with these applicant tracking systems in mind.

Optimise your resume keywords and get past resume screeners

Key points to check for keywords that will get you past resume screeners and get your resume noticed

  • Analyse job posting title keywords
  • Analyse job posting description keywords
  • Look at the company profile
  • Google the job position you are applying for and find out what other companies are looking for in applicants

Now you can prepare a list of keywords you need to implement into your CV in order to get it past resume screeners. Please have in mind that you are not just sending this application to a robot but that your intention is that a person will actually read it at some point so don’t just stuff the keywords in but rather try to make your CV work nicely with required keywords.

The last but not least point I have mentioned about Google-ing your job position should be taken really seriously. This is the only thing where you have to do some research and if you think you are suitable for the job you should already know all of the things that are required for your job position. Put yourself into employer shoes for a moment and try to figure out which keywords would you pick as important for someone who is applying for this position.

Boost your interview chances.

Try to understand that it is not a human being that is screening your job application but a piece of software that only knows to follow a specific set of rules which you must follow in order to satisfy it.

There are also numerous sites out there that can help you improve your CV and optimise it for the job you are applying for. Most of them offer only a limited amount of free service but I think that is enough for you to figure things out and you can do it on your own after you have learned the craft of CV optimisation.


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