Appendix F

Getting Noticed on an ATS Query

One of the great frustrations that job seekers encounter with larger employers is that their resumes are uploaded into an applicant tracking system (ATS) and stored in a database that is queried to match applicants to job postings. The end result is that the resumes of well-qualified applicants may never be seen by human eyes because the key word search program within the ATS did not identify a particular resume as matching the job posting. The secret to getting picked up in an ATS query is having a resume that contains the appropriate key words and phrases, so the ATS will identify a particular resume as a match to the job posting. If selected, a human being will then look over the resume and determine the qualifications and, potentially, contact the respondent for an interview.

It takes a bit of work and patience, but there is a way to beat the ATS and get noticed. Find several job postings that are similar to the kind of job you are trying to win on a web-based job postings site. Copy and paste the job descriptions and duties of those postings into a word-processing program and follow the steps and example that follows.

Step 1

Copy several job descriptions of good opportunities within a specific narrow field into a word-processing program. The following list includes language from several different job postings, to give you a sense of what an ATS might be looking for:

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