An Applicant Tracking System is a software program that organizes the recruitment efforts of any sized business. Its single-minded purpose is to enable businesses to find their desired outcome or candidate based on factors such as; job description, education, former and current employees, and particular human traits.

Are you going to try this time? Seriously. Do you even realize why you’re back again? Nothing else should matter when you’re looking for work; if you’re not 100% committed to this, then please close this blog and come back when you’re ready. This article attempts to give you the skinny (info) on the dynamics between your resume and the applicant tracking system by briefly defining them and the role the hiring companies play in all this. The better you can understand the dynamics, the more efficient you will become, leading to streamlining your job hunt, which will make your life so much easier. Indeed just made me an influencer and gave me even more tools to use, and I want to share with you the good, the bad, and the strange.


Your savior, The Resume. It can possess super-human like qualities if you do the right things.

The resume is a formal document that lists one’s work experience, educational achievements, and credentials in an outline, generally in chronological order from the past seven years. The resume is not a place to add your previous relationships, expulsions, rants on why your team lost against the Patriots, and your nude pics. A resume is a tool that can break down barriers if done properly, can scale vertical cliffs if researched correctly, and can be your ticket out of your mom’s living room. That’s probably a good thing at this point. To parents that need advice on how to get their 32-year-old out of the house? Build them a killer resume. vv

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The Applicant Tracking System. A software program used by almost every company in the world, in one shape or form. It’s like anything in this life, you either adapt to the situation or circumstances in front of you or you don’t.

Rarely have I seen a person fail when adequately trained on the basics of ATS style resumes, formats, keywords, hard and soft skills, and delivery. The ATS is a bad program, and I don’t mean Thriller Bad, I mean flat out evil, it prey’s on the simple fact that you are looking for a job in the first place. We all know how desperate we can get when looking for work. What is the ATS? It’s a software application that filters applications automatically based on given criteria such as keywords, skills, former employers, years of experience, and schools attended. Throughout the years, applicants, teachers, and institutions have put small dents in the ATS’s titanium armor; everyone is trying to break the algorithm. With that said, today’s ATS includes the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools that facilitate guided search capabilities offered through the cloud that allows companies to score and sort resumes with better alignment to the job requirements and descriptions. In short, that means that hiring managers can tweak the ATS machine’s internal organs to create the desired outcome. So, instead of creating job descriptions that only Einstein could break (if those weren’t hard enough), these hiring company’s are taking it to all new highs or lows depending on which side you’re on. Now companies want the top applicant to have the same resume, qualifications, and qualities of those companies top performer. Long story short, every company would like to have a thousand Michael Jordan’s working for them.


Companies like Indeed, Monster, Careerbuilder, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn all work with ATS software companies, in fact, if you look closely, you’ll find that they actually cater more to ATS than to us. Show me the money!

One of the principal functions of ATS is to provide a central location and database for a company’s recruitment division, files, and folders. ATSs are built to assist the management of resumes and applicant information better. The next part, read carefully:

The following is important:

Data is either collected from internal applications via the ATS front-end located on the company website or is quickly extracted from the applicants on job boards...


Most job and resume boards, LinkedIn, Monster, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, and Indeed have partnerships with ATS software providers to provide parsing (examine and analyze) support and secure data migration from one system to another, it makes sense, the easier the data is located the quicker the response time to find a new hire. What gives? I love these job sites, bless them all, you couldn’t pay me enough to say anything that would jeopardize my relationship with them except that it’s only strange. How strange is this? Well, if you dig deep enough, you’ll start to notice ATS all over the place. Let’s examine the front end because it’s easier to identify. Whenever you’re on a company site and the domain name changes to something utterly irrelated to what you were looking at, that’s ATS. Check it out.

It might be small, but it’s there., it’s the same throughout the whole site. Let’s look at what happens when we click on the “Join the Talent Network”
It changed to, that’s Intel’s ATS software, then Apply Tracking will guide you to either a great job with Intel or a nice letter that starts with “Unfortunately”.

It’s essential for two reasons:

  1. To be able to identify so that you, as the applicant, can stop and adjust your resume. So you realize that there is an ATS and that you should be cautious.
  2. Ah, this one won’t shock you. To be able to research the ATS company! Copy and paste their domain name into your browser and hit the road; you would be amazed at how much you can learn. You’ll also learn what their intentions are, and little details that trust me will help.

As with any system or for that matter software program, we will find what is good, bad, and strange about it. We must adapt to what is in front of us, don’t let the ATS define who you are, you own this thing, always remember that. Next week’s blog will focus on how to get past the ATS software.

A Question To Ponder

Is there a conflict of interest with some of these companies in bed with the ATS and at the same time, helping us find work when they know that only a small single-digit percentage will get the actual job?

As always, happy trails.


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