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Darren Cronian, the author of this guide, has spent eight years securing remote jobs and building a successful freelancing business. His goal is to help people escape the office. Read more >

If you have been submitting remote job applications, you will likely encounter an applicant tracking system (ATS) at some point. More companies are streamlining their recruitment process using the software.

These systems make it simpler for companies to manage and sort through job applications. Still, this ease has a downside: experienced candidates, such as yourself, can quickly be excluded from the job application process.

Learn that this is preventing you from getting a remote job interview.

This is preventing you from getting a remote job interview
Resume Evaluation

When submitting your resume via an ATS, the software compares it to other applicants’ resumes to determine your suitability.

Taleo, the most popular ATS in the United States, features a Req Rank function that calculates how well a resume matches a specific job description.

Recruiters can sort applicants by Req Rank, allowing them to focus only on high-scoring candidates. So, how do you achieve a high score? Incorporate the exact skills and keywords in the remote job description into your resume.

Keyword Searches

Almost all ATS have search features that recruiters use to identify candidates with specific skills. Instead of going through every resume, they can search for terms like “Sales,” “Zoom,” or “Twitter” to quickly eliminate candidates lacking relevant experience that they are looking for in a candidate.

On iCIMS, an ATS many companies utilize, applicants are ranked based on their match to a keyword search for a specific skill like “JavaScript.”

If a candidate with five “JavaScript” mentions ranks higher than one with only two. Job descriptions are excellent sources for determining potential search terms recruiters might use.

Transferring all relevant skills from the job description to your resume will improve your chances of receiving a response.

Resume Formatting

ATS is designed to read and analyze resumes, but some formatting choices can lead to glitches and errors.

Inappropriate use of tables, unconventional fonts, graphics, and multi-column layouts can confuse the ATS, leading to incorrectly parsed or even lost information. As a result, your resume may not accurately represent your skills and experience, causing it to be ranked poorly by the system.

Consequently, using a clean, simple, and ATS-friendly format for your resume is crucial, prioritizing plain text and standard fonts like Arial to ensure that your skills and experience are easily searchable by recruiters.

Other Applicant Tracking Systems and How They Rank

Of course, finding out what systems companies use is difficult, but understanding how this software works will help you receive more interview invites and fewer automated rejections.

Workday: Workday is a popular cloud-based ATS that uses AI and machine learning to screen and rank candidates. It evaluates resumes based on skills, job fit, and cultural fit and assigns a score to each candidate, similar to Taleo.

Greenhouse: Greenhouse ranks candidates using a customizable scorecard system. Recruiters and hiring managers can assign weights to specific skills and qualifications, and the system calculates a total score for each candidate based on these criteria.

Lever: An ATS that focuses on providing a seamless user experience for both candidates and employers. It ranks candidates using a combination of factors, such as skills, work history, and education, and allows recruiters to collaborate on evaluations and feedback.

Jobvite: Emphasizes social recruiting and candidate engagement. It ranks candidates based on work history, education, and other customized criteria the employer sets. The platform also enables seamless collaboration among recruiters and hiring managers.

SmartRecruiters: Ranks candidates based on skills, experience, and education, as well as any additional custom criteria set by the employer.

So, to recap: How ATS can prevent you from landing a remote job interview.

  • Keyword mismatch: ATS often scans resumes for keywords that match the job description. If your resume doesn’t have the relevant keywords or uses different terms, it might not be flagged as a match, even if you have the required skills and experience.
  • Poor formatting: ATS can have difficulty parsing resumes with complex or non-traditional layouts. If your resume has multiple columns, tables, or graphics, the system may not read correctly, causing vital information to be overlooked.
  • Inconsistent work history: ATS may filter out resumes with gaps in employment or frequent job changes. The system might flag your resume as a poor fit if your work history isn’t straightforward.
  • Over-qualification: Some ATS are programmed to screen out candidates who appear overqualified for a position. If your resume highlights an extensive background or education that goes beyond the job requirements, you might be inadvertently disqualified.
  • Misspellings and typos: ATS can be unforgiving regarding spelling and grammar errors. A single mistake may cause your resume to be filtered out.
  • Incomplete applications: If an employer requires you to fill out an online application in addition to submitting your resume, an incomplete or incorrect submission can prevent your application from moving forward in the hiring process.
  • Lack of customization: A generic resume tailored to a specific job posting will prevent the ATS from filtering it out. Customize your resume for each job application to increase the chances.

Knowing the best practices for your resume and cover letter will help you get through the shortlisting stage and improve your chances of getitng more interview invites and fewer automated rejections.

We’ve shown you how Applicant Tracking Systems can prevent you from getting a remote job interview, so put these tips into practice today.

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