How Employers Use Applicant Tracking Systems

Published February 15, 2021

Did you know an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) reads your resume before a human ever sets eyes on it? It’s important to include keywords that best represent you and your abilities. Not only will this help ATS accept your application for the best positions for you, but it will also arm you with quick references during networking meetings and interviews.

How do you make sure you have the most relevant keywords?

  • Highlight all those words in your resume that refer to soft skills (innate), and make a list on a separate piece of paper.
  • Do the same for “hard skills,” those things that you were trained to do or learned to do.
  • Make sure you didn’t miss a single skill or ability. Ensure every skill you have is featured on your resume, while emphasizing those skills that you want to transfer to your next job.

These words are now YOUR keywords. During networking meetings and interviews, these will help guide your “selling process” to expand your list of contacts and referrals. One skill you mention and explain may lead to a new contact or a new opportunity.

Get to know your resume

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.


(Related: What should you include in your resume?)