Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Applicant Tracking Systems are Artificial Intelligence (AI) based software programs that scan your application documents looking for keywords that the organization highlights before a human looks at them.

To “beat” an ATS you must customize your resume for each position. You can do this by reviewing current job descriptions can help make certain you have listed all the appropriate skills and experiences you possess match with what employers typically seek for particular positions.

For each type of job title or position you are seeking, regardless of location or type of organization, do this:

  • Review the job description for the position for which you are applying
  • If you do not already have a specific position in mind, use, or any search engine search for job titles and job descriptions
  • Review each position description
  • Highlight all the skills and requirements listed on the job description that you believe you possess. Only choose those skills and requirements that you could demonstrate or give examples for
  • Incorporate every single one of those items you highlighted into your resume
  • You can do this by adding Action Word Phrases to the positions you have listed on your resume OR you can add a Skill Highlights Section that includes the more general liberal arts skills such as those listed on the Transferable Skills Resource.  

Alternatively, if you are applying for similar positions you can read through several job postings to see similarities of duties and phrases to incorporate in your resume.

Be sure to use the language from the job posting itself!