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From Black Hole to Spotlight - Why you Need to Tailor Your CV for Applicant Tracking Systems

Have you ever applied for a job and felt like your resume went into a black hole? Or worse, have you ever received a rejection email within seconds of submitting your application?

If this has happened the chances are you’ve come face to face with an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Now, you might be wondering, what on earth is an ATS?

Is it some kind of fancy robot that scans your resume and makes a decision on if your CV even makes it in front of human eyes? Well yes that's exactly what it is.

An ATS is a software system that employers use to filter through the hundreds of CVs they receive. It’s like the bouncer at a nightclub, letting in only the candidates who meet certain criteria and if you're names not down you're not coming in.

Why should you care about ATS?

If your CV doesn’t make it past the ATS, your dream job could slip through your fingers not because you can't do the job, or because you don't have the skills the Recruiter needs, it could simply be that your CV isn't formatted correctly.

ATS has some pretty specific requirements. It’s like trying to impress your picky Aunt Sally, who only eats gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, locally-sourced food. If you want to impress her, you better make sure your food ticks all the boxes.

How do you make sure your resume passes the ATS test?

The key is to tailor your resume to the job description. That means taking the time to read the job advert and making sure your CV includes relevant keywords and phrases. You need to speak in the language of the employer, which shows that you’re the right fit for the job. If they talk about team work and you're using collaboration, unlike a human it won't recognise that they are practically the same thing.

I’m not saying you should go overboard and copy-paste the entire job description into your CV because that's kind of obvious and a bit lazy. The employer will definitely notice even if the computer doesn't.

Instead, think of your CV as a puzzle that needs to fit together perfectly. You have all the right pieces you just need to sort them into the right order and create the picture on the box that shows off all your relevant skills and experience.

By taking some time and effort to tailor your CV and use their language, you are just showing the employer that you’re the final piece of the puzzle that's a perfect fit for the role.

If you want to find out more about how this technology works and how making some simple changes to your CV format can increase your chances of getting the all important interview, download our free guide.

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Snow Limits Coaching disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.



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