Statistics show 50% of mid-sized companies and almost all large corporations use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen candidates for job opportunities. There are a variety of reasons recruiters and hiring managers adopt this type of technology. With an ATS in place, human resources departments can automate and store hiring documents online so HR professionals never have to worry about sifting through stacks of paperwork or hundreds of emails to find what they need.
Colin Day, Founder and CEO of iCIMS, Inc., a provider of talent acquisition software for growing businesses,Â (a company represented at the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) national conference last month), is in an excellent position to advise job seekers how to maximize their online applications. Here are Dayâ€™s top suggestions for getting the most visibility for your online application.
1. Thoroughly read job descriptions. Most recruiters will tell you a big pet peeve is hearing from job seekers who apply even if they are not qualified for the job. Take the time to understand exactly what the company expects from applicants for jobs that interest you; do not ignore the detailed description of what the job entails. â€œATS technologies can filter candidates by those whose responses dovetail best with specific job descriptions. For the best response rates, make sure your content and experience match up accordingly,â€ said Day.
2. Create an original cover letter. If the company asks for a cover letter, be sure to include one. Make sure you write a cover letter specific to your accomplishments and skills that properly addresses the job description. Go a step further and mention how you will use that knowledge and those skills on the job. Avoid sending out a generic, run-of-the-mill cover letter. â€œDespite the cover letter being digital, itâ€™s often the first thing recruiters read when viewing candidate profiles â€“ even ahead of the resume,â€ Day explained. â€œUse the cover letter as an opportunity to showcase your personality, qualifications, and desire for the job.â€
3. Identify key words and tailor your resume. Take your time and look over your resume. Find the key words in the job description and make sure you indicate how your accomplishments address those requirements. Be sure to slightly customize your resume and/or cover letter to each specific job.
4. Make sure your responses are on target and error free.
5. Maintain one candidate profile per company.Â
6. Fill out all fields within the application process.Â
7. Ensure your social profile is current.
8. Clean up your public social media profile.
9. Review all the information you imported before submitting.Â
photo by ph0rk