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ATS is a Bummer but Resume-Writing Services Can Help

By: Dr. Brittany Castonguay 14 August 2023 #resumewriting

The applicant tracking system (ATS) can be a real pain for job hunters. An ATS is used by large companies and many small businesses to screen applicants' qualifications before a human sees each resume. Using an algorithm, ATS scans each resume looking for keywords that someone pre-determined. You have no way of knowing which keyword the ATS is checking for, and if you don’t match at least 70 to 90% of the keywords, your resume will be marked as unqualified.

This can be a real bummer for the job seeker, leaving them disappointed and feeling not good enough. From a business perspective, ATS is a solution to a significant problem. Hiring managers and HR don’t have time to scan hundreds to thousands of job applicants, and ATS offers a reasonable solution to this problem. However, it is not a full-proof solution, and the algorithm disregards many qualified applicants. The applicants who get through either get lucky or understand how the ATS system works. Yet, passing the ATS does not guarantee that the result is a robust set of applicants.

How can job seekers prepare themselves for each job application if the ATS is stacked to work against them instead of assisting them?

Job applicants should tailor their resume to match the keywords on each job description. This can be a frustrating and overwhelming process. Each job description must be scanned for keywords and analyzed to determine which specific terms the ATS may seek. The job applicant may be wrong from the beginning because there is no guarantee to know those keywords.

This is where resume-writing professionals can assist job seekers. As resume-writing experts, these professionals are trained to identify keywords based on industry specifics and help target the resume to the job application. In addition, a resume-writing expert will ensure that the formatting and structure of the resume will appeal to both an ATS and a set of human eyes. The resume design is essential as most ATS’ cannot read tables, columns, or PDFs. This adds another layer of complexity for the job seeker to balance as a software system screens their resume.

Applicant Tracking System, ATS, resume writing
70 to 90% of resumes are marked as not qualified by Applicant Tracking Systems

The competition is steep in a world where the job market remains hot, and unemployment rates remain low. An ATS is designed to reduce the HR workload without considering the job seeker's actual qualifications. To circumvent these worries and reduce the job hunt frustrations, applicants should consider hiring a resume-writing professional to help them create a targeted resume for each job application.

How do you know if a resume-writing professional is a good fit for you?

1. Check out their background and experience.

2. Schedule a consultation to discuss their experience, expertise, and services.

3. Remember, all resume-writing experts are different. Fielding them out by asking for a consultation and discussing your concerns with them is important.

4. Consider how urgently you need job placement. If you are casually looking for a new job, you may not need to hire an expert but can do the research independently. If you are actively looking for a new position, consider hiring a professional, as most hiring processes can take months to screen and onboard new hires.

5. Finally, consider their services, expertise, and personality. Are they a good fit for what you are looking for, and does their price range match what you can afford? If the answer is no, don’t settle but keep looking for a professional that fits your energy and budget.

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