You’ve surely already asked yourself what exactly happens with your application papers inside the company while you are waiting for the callback for the job interview. How exactly do the people from HR manage to go through all those mountains of documents? How long does it take them to figure one candidate out, based solely on the information she or he has provided? Are their desks swamped with papers? The truth is that most big companies rely on the services of so-called application tracking systems (APS). Read on to find out what these are and what it all means for your future applications.
The term ATS refers to different software solutions, which, simply put, help companies administrate impressive numbers of received applications. The process of registering and filing away application documents, as well as sending out written confirmations to the candidates, becomes a fully automatic one. ATS often also do a first selection of suitable candidates. This means that your success is determined, at first at least, by a machine. Scared? Those opposed to technical solutions will say that the application process thusly becomes even more impersonal, a tendency that they spot in all circumstances where there’s some form of IT involved. But look at the situation from another angle – software doesn’t have any prejudices or personal likes and remains as objective as possible. And think about the sheer amount of applications that are sure to turn up for any good position. It’s only logical that working through them without any technological help takes a lot of time and makes the whole application process longer. You surely don’t want to wait for months to get an answer. You’d rather now as soon as possible whether you have a shot at the vacant position or not.
Now that you know all this, you can change your application documents accordingly to maximize your success. Keep in mind that ATS, much like regular search engines, look for some specific key words in your documents, which give an impression of your qualifications and skills. Read the wording of the job ad carefully and you’ll be able to spot these and use them in your application. Avoid using lots of pictures and logos that could confuse the software and keep it classic. The same has to be said about your language – software, as opposed to a human being, isn’t able to read between the lines in order to determine whether the candidate has the required skills and qualifications. Humans can, on the other hand, overlook simple typos, but a machine can’t. Don’t allow it to come to that. It would be regrettable if one or more of your qualifications weren’t accounted for, just like you didn’t have them, because of a typo. It could end up costing you the job interview.