In addition to creating a solid and keyword-rich resume, you want to develop and activate a plan for getting past an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Most companies use these in a search and sometimes (more often than we want) they will reject even the most qualified applicant’s resume.
On average, every corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes. But only four to six of these people will be called for an interview, and only one of those will be offered a job. – INC
As many as 75% of qualified job applicants are rejected by ATSs due to spurious reasons like incorrect resume formatting. – Forbes
60% of applicants quit an online application because it was too complex or too long. – Career Builder
Eighty-five percent of jobs are filled through networking. Seventy-two percent of people say their first impression is impacted by how someone appears and their handshake. – Hubspot
So how do you get past the ATS?
Simple. Build your network.
Okay, before I lose you here, read on.
Every company representative and human resources professional that I asked about getting past the ATS stated emphatically just how much they prefer finding a candidate through their network, or through the process of interacting with candidates online or in person. They shared how much they truly enjoy building relationships with potential candidates and encouraged strong use of LinkedIn, networking, phone calls and Informational Interviewing as a way to make introductions and build relationships. Internal recruiters and human resources professionals are actually easier to connect with than you realize.
But too many applicants make the fatal mistake of believing that sending an introductory email (or LinkedIn message) with their resume attached is networking.
It happens every day. Job seekers start sending people unrequested copies of their resumes, or bombarding companies with direct calls or emails, asking to be considered for jobs without even proactively building positive relationships with recruiters.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen even the most elevated executive resort to “panic-based” pitching.
Imagine if you were to open up your email to find this message:
“Hi. I see that you work for ABC and they have a job that I’m interested in. I would appreciate your passing my name along to the person leading this search. Please find my resume attached.”
Yup. That’s an actual email sent to a recruiter. And if you were that recruiter, you’d probably delete this note immediately. This note, or versions like it, are sent all day long from job seekers hoping to zip past the ATS. This is not how you do it folks. This is what is known as ‘tele-marketing.’ And when recruiters are put in a position of becoming a personal ATS they’ll most likely reject your attempt and either not respond or hit delete.
It’s time to stop the cold calls and start building mutually beneficial relationships.
In our Career Coaching sessions, we spend time working on this as an important career elevation strategy, so please don’t dismiss it. Sure, this isn’t easy for everyone, but I’m here to support you. So, whether you are in a career transition, seeking a promotion, want to position yourself to continually attract opportunities or want to cultivate career happiness, a solid career plan should involve developing relationships with people who will confidently recommend you to the recruiter.
This is the number one way to get past the ATS.
How To Be Career Happy? Make Authentic Networking A Priority