Applicant Tracking Software and How it Works


DICETV: What happens to your resume after you click send? We’d like to believe it drops straight into the inbox of the hiring manager, where it’s immediately opened. What actually happens is far more circuitous. It’s all about software, and here’s how it works.

10 Responses to “Applicant Tracking Software and How it Works”

  1. This is a good video. However, most applicant software these days relies on a person to screen your resume. Matching algorithms are a thing of the past and many ATS vendors are moving away from screening algorithms because of new OFCCP /EEOC pressures.

    So, most of the time, your resume (if you are applying to a company not a recruiting firm) is read by a corporate recruiter or HR person. Your resume is screened against some minimum criteria and then your resume is forwarded to a hiring manager.

    Companies without applicant tracking software are typically unorganized and your resume ends up in a big email inbox. Your chances of getting noticed are worse.

    There are a couple of things that you can do to increase your exposure when applying for jobs.
    1. Present your resume in a word doc. w/o a lot of fancy formatting
    2. Don’t bother key word loading your resume, it only makes you look desperate and like you are gaming the system.
    3. Don’t apply more than once. It doesn’t help.
    4. Do enter comments with your resume if the application process allows for comments. Comments are better than a cover letter. No one reads cover letters anymore.

    • Dino Londis

      Thanks Laurel. I know HR departments would love to review all resumes that are sent to them, but it’s increasingly impossible. A good job – especially in today’s market – will receive a lot of qualifited and unqualified applicants. Looking over all of them, especially when their are multiple positions is difficult at best. Also the applicant may not get the job, but are still databased for a future position and will be searched then. If an applicant does gets the job, their resume is searched again later when HR wants to hire internally. For those reasons, I’d follow Cat’s advice.

      I liked your advice too btw.

  2. blacklisted? From one company maybe. But if you weren’t qualified in the first place, you really don’t have anything to lose. *muah* Well, until you get an interview and you have no idea what you are talking about. That’s always a red flag. So the moral of the story is, don’t lie on your resume.

  3. just a comment

    Applicant Tracking Software. My foot. This is one more excuse for the hiring managers to not to do their job correctly. In stead of gossiping about what happened lost night they should spend time hiring quality candidates.

  4. Tim Harrell

    Are there optimized formats for the scanning software ? I’d like to get a template that is appropriate for the scanning software. When you say don’t put things in a box, what are you talking about ? A Shape ? I’ve been given templates that use tables for formating . Is that what you mean ? Need more detail, please.

  5. Thanks for the concise explanation, Cat. I can see how such software can solve a number of problems for the average hiring manager but the system seems horribly flawed in a number of ways. Yes, it will help reduce a mountain of resumes to a manageable few, but it has the potential to eliminate the very best candidates for lack of certain keywords. Vets are finding this especially problematic since the military has a nomenclature that is entirely different from most civilian corporations.

  6. Mike b

    I have my own engineering company. We develop our own products. I do not need to hire hiring managers or HR staff. They start believing that they own the company and treat engineers like dirt. I worked at a small company years ago and I learnt a very important lesson. The boss of the company,an engineer, one day walked into the HR office and fired the entire staff. The HR staff are a bunch of liberal art majors on a power high.

    If you have to rely on hiring managers to find engineers you need to get out of the engineering bussiness. Just like the above video they start lecturing you about your damned resume and how they can ruin your life if you use buzzwords. What are running? A prison? Commy bastards!!!