In the current job market you are competing with multiple other job applicants who are just as eager and skilled, and maybe more than you. Therefore you need to do whatever you can to make your application stand out and get noticed in the crowd.

Getting past the applicant tracking system is your first priority.

Your CV is your marketing tool – a document to showcase your career highlights and to put your best foot forward.

However, here’s where it gets interesting:

Recruitment managers only spend an average of six seconds when looking at CVs. But what if I told you that 80% of the time, your CV was never even seen?

Today, most organisations use a tool called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS for short).

These ATS filter out “under-qualified” CVs, a good thing for the HR department. But this can make your job search feel like finding a needle in a haystack – near impossible!

So what is an applicant tracking system?

An applicant tracking system is a software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment and hiring needs. Large organisations often deal with several thousand job applications for a single job, and it is an impossible task to sort through them one by one. To be more efficient, they need a faster way of doing this.

An ATS is also used to cull candidates. It conducts a preliminary analysis of the applicants to find the best fits for a job. The goal is to speed HR’s review of job applications and CVs. It may look for keywords or use AI-type algorithms that run a more in-depth analysis of the job applicant.

Estimates show that as many as 90% of organisations use some ATS to filter their applications.

So how do I get past ATS?

According to Wikipedia “With the advent of ATS, resume optimization techniques and online tools are often used by applicants to increase their chances of landing an interview call.”

Below are a few tips, but if you need more in-depth information and want to learn how to write your own, you might want to try the WRITE-A-MODERN-CV Bootcamp.

So here’s what you need to know:

  • The ATS scans your CV for keywords then scores it for relevance. Only the most qualified (aka the highest scores) get sent through for human review.
  • Keep Formatting Simple. For instance, font choices: Arial, Courier, or Times New Roman are your friend.
  • Don’t use tables, text boxes or blocks and keep graphics to a minimum, if you use it at all.
  • Also, Job Titles Matter. So if you’re applying for a role as a Sales Manager, then make sure your work history reflects this specific job title.

In conclusion, these are only a few of the more than ten things you need to know about ATS and how to write a great CV.

If you are interested in learning how to get the best CV – check out the WRITE-A-MODERN-CV Bootcamp.

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