The common misconception with ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) reviewing your CV and how to get through the barrier.
We’re often asked “how do you guarantee that my CV will pass through applicant tracking systems”?
The truth is writers can do this for a particular advertised position, but not every position you wish to apply for. Unfortunately, less reputable CV writers and companies have created a misconception within the recruitment industry that there is a magic formula for your CV to pass through any Applicant Tracking System, and they often charge you extra for this ‘additional service’. After all, more and more employers are using these tracking systems to cut down on their time reviewing candidates that aren’t suitable and ensure they shortlist ones that are. So, why wouldn’t you pay extra to ensure your CV gets past these ‘complex algorithms’?
This isn't the case, it's a tactic used to up-sell and maximise the revenue from each client without providing any extra service at all.
The ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is set up by the individual hiring manager for that position within that particular company when they are writing the job description. On the back end of the ATS software the hiring manager will enter keywords for the position and these are referenced against your CV.
So, what’s the issue? Well every hiring manager is different, they use different grammar, different spelling and different terminology. Let’s look at the below example.
John is a hiring manager from HSBC
Phil is a hiring manager from Lloyds
They are both recruiting for team manager position, requiring 5 years previous team management experience and a MBA.
Johns position headline
Seeking an MBA graduate with 5+ years of team management experience to lead and develop a small team of banking advisors.
Phils position headline
Looking to recruit an experienced team manager to mentor and oversee a banking advisory team. Must have a graduated with a Master of Business Administration and have a minimum of 5 years’ experience.
As you can see, both hiring managers are recruiting the same position, both are seeking the same candidate but using different keywords (even though they mean the same thing). The point here is that the CV writer can very easily identify these keywords in each job description and tailor your documents to give you the best possible chance of passing the ATS, but no two positions are written the same way. One hiring manager uses MBA, one uses Master of Business Administration. There is no magic formula when writing a CV to pass every ATS. When you are applying for positions you must identify the key words contained within the job description and tailor the CV accordingly to give yourself the best chance of getting through the Applicant Tracking System.
Don’t let companies or writers charge you extra for an ATS compliant CV, they should already be doing this for the position you send them. For other positions, without them seeing the description, it’s impossible.