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How an ATS Really Works


I feel the need to correct some errant (or at least incomplete) information I’ve seen circulating lately.

A company called Resunate created the infographic below, which I feel, gives a cold and calculating impression of your typical ATS. While their goal is to serve job seekers (and they appear to be doing a great job at it), I feel they’ve done a disservice in the information they present.

While I’m not totally familiar with other ATS systems out there like Taleo / Oracle, The Resumator, or iCIMS, I do know that our ATS takes a very different approach to sorting applicants than what is presented in the infographic.

Yes, all of your applicants are stored and indexed in a general bank for you to access, but we’re much more concerned with matching the right person to the right job that they applied for. This means we group your applicants by job posting. All screening questions and job fit scores are presented together, so you have a more complete picture. So instead of thinking “I wonder who in my applicant bank would fill this job opening” and doing some sort of search, you can say “Here are the applicants that applied to this job opening and there are their job fit scores”.

I think this gives hope to the applicant, too. Of course, use the right keywords for your industry, but know that it’s not some algorithm dictating your employment—if you’re genuinely a good fit, you’ll be at the top of the list. I remember being turned down for jobs in the past and feeling disappointed, but after some time and thinking, I’m glad I didn’t get the job, as I’d probably be miserable.

This also gives confidence to the hiring manager. You won’t be tricked by someone keyword stuffing their resume to ensure they keep popping up in front of you. Instead, you’ll be able to make a well-informed hiring decision.

How an ATS Reads A Resume


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