GetFive Insights

Eye-Opening Facts You Must Know About Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

search new job.top view of workplace

ATS facts you didn’t know!

Job hunters and applicant tracking systems are like vinegar and oil. The two can feel like they’re almost impossible to mix together.

However, with a bit of vigorous shaking, that vinegar and oil can become a nice salad dressing. To shake up a stalled job search, it’s time to stop believing an ATS is your enemy and start understanding how they work so you can use them to your advantage. Getting the facts is a great place to start.

Fact: 75 percent of large companies use an ATS according to Capterra, an application tracking system reviews company.

The majority of large companies use some type of applicant tracking system and SMBs are following suit. Expect to encounter these throughout your job search.

Fact: 70 percent of the resumes are not seen by the employers

Big companies get thousands of resumes each week (a reported 50,000 per week for Microsoft and 75,000 per week for Google). There’s no time for a human to go through each one. The ATS cuts approximately 70 percent that don’t match the required criteria.

Fact: Rare keywords are your secret weapon in beating the ATS

To get a top-ranking resume you not only need a high quantity of keywords, but you also need high-quality keywords. Some keywords are weighed more than others and resumes that include these will instantly stand out. Hint: Look at the job description and interviewer’s LinkedIn profile for clues.

Fact: Resume length doesn’t matter to the ATS

Computer software doesn’t care if your resume is one page or five. While you can be a bit more liberal when developing copy, keep in mind the ultimate goal is for your resume to reach a human eye. If the length is ridiculous, it will get thrown out. Find the sweet spot to appease both man and machine.

Fact: Skip abbreviations and include written-out acronyms

Abbreviations can be missed if they are not programmed into the ATS, so play it safe by spelling out words completely. Use popular industry acronyms but spell out the words in parenthesis afterword to make sure your information gets pulled and ranked appropriately.

Fact: ATS save companies tons of money

A small company with just eight employees can save $10,000 in wasted time and effort using an ATS. For big companies, the savings are much more. That money motivation means the ATS is only gong to become more prominent.

Now that you have some basic facts, you can update your job search to align with the ATS rather than battle it. Of course if you need additional help fine-tuning your resume, a coach from GetFive will give you the ultimate edge.Save

Save

Save

1 comment

It doesn’t work. My name is Dean and I am the head of recruiting for for a 9 billion dollar transportation asset management firm based out of Chicago Il. I can tell you that when we ditched our five letter name ATS system for manual screening process, we decreased the length of time to find a qualified applicant by a whopping 18%! We found new hires were more likely to stay in a position and they tended to exceed performance expectations. What are we doing? We are manually looking at applications. We’re matching industry experience with degrees. We have fewer “open” positions and our executive management team has accredited HR as being the driving force behind increased productivity and thus quarterly earnings. Imagine that, we are actually “The Driving Force Behind Increased Quarterly Earnings”. I’ll let that sink in a bit. About a year ago we were the department that we’re most likely to be replaced by outsourced HR agency. The other thing, we’ve employed, is requiring those in an HR or recruiting function to hold a degree. Why? Because we have found that those with a degree tend to make better decisions and have fewer biases than those who did not have a degree. It’s seems holding a degree teaches tolerance. Given these experiences I would strongly suggest those looking to increase your functionality to ditch your ATS system. Put in the work and experience results for a change.

Join the Conversation


Read Next


Career Insider

Harness the power of the industry’s best job search method, made accessible for individuals.

The 5-Step Method

See how our proven method gets job seekers back on their feet and back to work faster.

Seven Stories Exercise

Deciding what you want starts with understanding the skills you enjoy using.

Free Tools

Explore recent white papers and webinars, created by GetFive’s experts.