“Could something be wrong with my CV or application? I mean, here I am bursting my butt, applying for just about any job, and yet it seems like my CV gets intercepted halfway by some kind of force,” many have complained.
Of course there is a force: the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
It’s not letting you go in anytime soon, not until you can perfectly and skilfully outsmart it.
Most job rejections among Nigerian jobseekers are not as a result of the absence of workplace or employable skills, as many will say. Rather, it is your inability to scale through ATS screening. That’s the “forces.”
I’ve seen people with s***ty CV’s get called for interviews, and pretty ones get shoved into trash. About 70% of job seekers don’t know what an ATS software is, and how it works to determine their fate toward landing their desired dream job.
Only a selected few have come across that acronym and fully understand how it works against them or in their favour, and thus deployed the relevant skills and action to subdue its negative influence.
If you are among the 70%, there is no problem. Just read on and be sensitised.
ATS simply stands for Applicant Tracking System. This is used to simply separate the strong candidates from the weak, based on the specified keywords assigned by the firm or hiring manager.
About 60% of employers of labour use the ATS for recruitment, and screen candidates for job openings. This kills 75% of your chances of landing a job as soon as you submit your curriculum vitae.
How does it work?
When a firm calls for applications, thousands of applications and CVs are received. To save time and ease the process of selection, the ATS is deployed to scan or track qualified applicants, using terms that match those used in the job description, before passing it to someone human.
If a firm is hiring a social media manager and your CV says “manager,” great! The system passes your application to a real human. This simply means, you can be over qualified and not be selected for the position. It doesn’t matter what you graduated with, the university you attended, how intelligent you are, or even how qualified you claim to be.
Once the major keywords can’t be tracked in your document, there’s nothing for you. That’s why I call it a broken system. Some qualified candidates are likely been automatically filtered out of the process.
From the jobseeker’s perceptive, it is overwhelmingly frustrating. However, it is left for you to up your game, as there is a need for automation to speed up processes and save time.
How then would one scale through this?
The first thing you have to realise is: it’s not them, it’s you. Yes, you! It’s your CV, your fonts.
In helping jobseekers land their dream jobs with ease through EveritinJob Services, I have seen thousands of errors, beliefs, attitudes and misconceptions that have kept jobseekers eternally unemployed.
One of such is the belief that one CV will work for all job opportunities. This has kept a lot of people unemployed. Why do I have to rewrite this stuff when I haven’t gotten anything with it? Writing this takes time and energy, you see most people lament.
This makes me laugh often. Get the skill. CV writing is a skill. Learn it. For as long as you remain unemployed, you need it to survive. If you’ve got no time to learn, then outsource to professionals who are into the business.
Remember: Job search is a serious business and a job itself. Get to work fast. It is wise you do. In fact, for every opportunity you’re applying for, write a new CV and cover letter.
Do away with the use of serif fonts such as Times New Roman or Cambria when writing your CV. Some Applicant Tracking Systems have trouble reading them. So play it safe using Calibri or other similar San Serif fonts.
Avoid using arrows or other intricate symbols for your bullet points. Go for circular shaped symbol. ATS tends to misread other symbols. Pad your skill section with as many applicable keywords as possible. Remember pad here doesn’t mean lie. Make sure that most keywords are reflected strategically in different areas of your CV.
With these, I believe you will scale through the preliminary selection phase of hiring processes, outsmart the ATS, and have yourself an interview call, then your dream job.