Introduction to ATS
In today's recruitment landscape, a staggering 75% of recruiters and employers rely on recruitment software known as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to streamline their hiring process. To maximise your chances of getting noticed, it is crucial to craft a CV that appeals not only to human readers but also to these ATS "machines." Understanding the workings of ATS, particularly the CV parsing and matching modules, is essential.
ATS platforms possess the capability to match CVs to job descriptions and "parse" the data within your CV into their systems. Consequently, your CV must contain the right information to be deemed a suitable match by the ATS. Moreover, it should be formatted in a manner that the ATS can easily read and parse, ensuring that the transferred data aligns with the appropriate fields.
Evaluating CVs with Free Assessments
Numerous automated CV assessment tools claim to gauge the ATS optimisation of your document. However, it is important to note that the most accurate way to evaluate a CV's ATS optimisation is by measuring it against a specific job description or running it through an authentic ATS. While certain CV scanners can identify glaring omissions or errors, relying solely on a so-called ATS scanner tool without a proper benchmark can yield flawed results. For instance, if you receive a score of 57%, it is essential to question "57% of what?".
Effective CV Optimisation Techniques
While the efficacy of different CV assessment tools may vary, optimising your CV for recruitment software remains a prudent strategy. Here are some quick wins to ensure that your CV appeals to both human readers and ATS:
- Choice of Document Format: Selecting the appropriate document format for your CV is crucial. Historically, Microsoft Word has been a safer choice than PDF, as certain older ATS struggle with the latter format. However, the newer ATS can read PDF files. It is advisable to follow any application instructions provided, as PDF may be preferred for compatible ATS.
- Structuring Your CV: opt for a chronological format, which is widely accepted among professionals. Display your roles in reverse chronological order and avoid unconventional elements like sidebars and intricate layouts, as they can confuse parsing technology.
- Graphics and Formatting: Avoid using logos, headers, footers, and tables, as these elements can cause issues when your CV is parsed by recruitment software. ATS struggle with intricate formatting, potentially affecting the appearance of your CV.
- Signposting: Including your job title or professional description after your name is a smart tactic to guide ATS and help them understand your background.
- Content Alignment: Ensure that the content of your CV accurately reflects the requirements outlined in the job description. Align your position descriptions with the desired qualifications and responsibilities.
- Font Selection: Choose a common serif or sans serif fonts like Arial and Calibri, which enhance the readability of your CV. While fonts play a minor role, it's best to err on the side of caution and choose widely accepted options.
- Use of Acronyms: When employing acronyms, consider whether recruiters are more likely to search using the abbreviation or the full form of the term.
For a comprehensive overview of optimizing your CV for ATS, we invite you to join our upcoming webinar on Tuesday 6th June at 7:15pm BST. To register, please visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.
By implementing these strategies, you can enhance your CV's visibility and increase the likelihood of getting noticed by both human recruiters and ATS alike.