How to Beat the Applicant Tracking System?

Are you applying to lots of jobs online through Linkedin, Indeed, ziprecruiter and other job boards, as well as directly on company websites, but either not getting a response or are rejected quickly? It may not be because you’re not a good candidate. More likely, it’s because the Applicant Tracking System software can’t properly read your resume in some way. While that may be a bit of an emotional relief it doesn’t advance your career. What it really means is you have work to do on your resume.

Companies use ATS to assist a recruiter or hiring manager to more efficiently work through an ever-growing pool of applicants. It helps them to decide who to interview by highlighting candidate resumes that are most likely a good fit for the position.

ATS software screens each resume received for a position, translating it into a standard basic text format. It then reads and ranks the standardized resume using a core keyword matching algorithm, The system matches keywords and phrases on the resume to specific words and phrases listed in the Job Description.

Recruiters start the hiring process by contacting the top-ranked ATS-qualified candidates. So, if the resume isn’t at the top of the list or isn’t on the list at all the candidate won’t be called for an interview. Essentially, the recruiter no longer looks at an uploaded resume when they click on a name, they’re only looking at summary information the ATS software parsed out of reading the resume. The summary is arranged to let the recruiter see critical information quickly. However, information can be overlooked, put in the wrong place or look like a garbled mess if the software reads it wrong.

We had an information-rich interview with Muttalip Olgun, Founder of He talked about how to beat the ATS screening software that now controls the hiring process for just about every employer – small, medium and large. Here is the wise insights from our expert guest to beat the Applicant Tracking System.

  • Tailor your resume for each job posting separately. 
  • Use (multiple times) the same words and phrases found on the Job Description. 
  • Don’t start your work experience with dates. ATS software looks for employer names first, followed by your job title and then the dates. 
  • Match your job experience title with the title of the job you’re applying for
  • Avoid using pictures, icons or especially creative fonts
  • Prefer using Microsoft Word format
  • Don’t hesitate to apply for more than one job at a company
  • Don’t forget that resumes via referrals are subject to ATS

We believe that the tips Muttalip shared will be very important for job seekers because It’s worth the effort to master ATS screening as it makes a huge difference in whether you get a call for an interview.