Application Tracking Systems (ATS)
Online resume submission has become a common way of applying for jobs. But as a job seeker, do you know what happens to your resume when you submit it?
From the employer perspective, hundreds of resumes could be submitted for that job you just submitted your resume for. According to Jobscan, the average number of resumes received for a corporate job are 250. Considering the vast number of online job postings, that’s potentially an overwhelming number of resumes to sort through for an employer. With this problem in mind Application Tracking System (ATS) were created.
Designed to make the hiring process easier for the employer, ATS uses algorithms—complex, automated mathematical equations— to screen all applications submitted according to the specifications on the job posting. So, what does that mean for the average job seeker?
The ATS follows the same principle for hiring that would have normally been used by a hiring manager. But there are now more automated stages that your resume passes through before it actually ends up in the hiring manager’s hands.
As soon as you submit your application and resume, the ATS is activated and the hiring process goes through multiple stages.
“Sudden Elimination” round
This stage is not a part of every ATS, but the “Sudden Elimination Round” is a set of pre-set questions that you may be asked to answer when you submit your application. If you give the “correct” answer, your resume continues through. Otherwise your resume is flagged as “rejected” and that may be the end of your application.
For example, if a college diploma is a requirement for the position, you may see a question like “Do you have a college diploma” with options “yes” and “no”. If you select “yes” you’re through to the next stage, if you select “no”, your application may automatically be stopped from reaching the next stage.
In this stage the ATS begins to process the resumes that have made it past the first stage. It extracts all the information from each resume in what is called a “Parse” or a “Chop” reducing resumes to text format and breaking it up into a more searchable chunks of information.
This stage essentially strips away the formatting of your resume and boils the information down (as best as the program can) to the key information.
Information Categorization and Keywords
This next step in the process takes the information gathered in the extraction stage and drops it into easy-to-read categories. Then the recruiter can input keywords and like a search engine the ATS will filter the results using those keywords to find the ideal candidates.
Recruiter Reviews Resumes
In this last stage, the ATS ranks candidates by the keywords and criteria the employer has selected, and the recruiter receives the resumes that match. The top-ranking candidates will then be contacted for an interview and the more traditional hiring process begin.
With the advances in technology comes change and the hiring process has changed to accommodate higher volumes of applications. But knowing how ATS works can help you increase your chances of getting an interview.