How To Conquer ATS And Job Board Search Engines

How To Conquer ATS And Job Board Search Engines

Employers' intentions to hire have significantly increased by 9% over the first quarter of 2022, despite current economic concerns. A recent survey from EY shows, employees influence on employment terms grows and job seekers can take advantage of the current talent crisis. Although there are lots of jobs out there, the main problem remains - how do you write and optimise a CV, so it passes ATS and ensure recruiters and hiring managers can find you on job boards?

To take advantage of the current trend and secure the job you want in the modern-day job market, your CV must follow specific techniques. Almost 75% of CV's are rejected by ATS because they're not correctly formatted or keyword optimised. Even if you are perfectly qualified for the job, if your CV is not optimised correctly, it may never be seen or found by a human. Ensuring your CV is seen by recruiters and hiring manager, optimising it for ATS and job board search engines is a must do.

How Recruiters Find Your CV On A Job Board

When you submit your CV to a database of thousands of CVs, like Joblookup, the chances of a recruiter or hiring manager finding your CV, without you optimising it, is equal to zero. Your CV needs to be easily findable by recruiters searching CV databases. Ultimately, job boards use similar type search technology to search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo, and pick out specific keywords as they crawl the CVs uploaded to the job board.

Interesting Data

Interestingly, the UKs leading independent job board CV-Library, has just launched a new DirectApply API to improve applicant numbers for employers. This technology now allows recruiters and hiring managers to automate their application process even more, by sending any good CV matches, directly into the recruiters ATS and automatically shortlist to review.

What You Need To Know About ATS:

ATS (Applicant Tracking System), is a software solution used by recruiters and employers during the hiring process. It helps with human resource, recruitment, and hiring as it's primary function help collect and organise large volumes of applicants. Sometimes also called a talent management system, among other functions, an ATS can rank, sort and filter thousands of CV seamlessly, and enables the electronic screening process of CVs.

The decision on how an ATS ranks your CV against other candidates can be based on keywords, skill sets, experience, qualifications, locations, previous employers and even on spelling and grammar mistakes. If it identifies your CV as a good match for the position, it forwards your CV to the hiring manager. Those which don't meet the qualifications are rejected and the CV is never seen by a human.

ATS & Job Board Compliant CV

Thankfully both ATS and job boards follow the same basic ground rules when it comes to optimising your CV. Here are the 8 most important components needed to ensure you have a search friendly CV that will conquer ATS and job board search engines:

1. File Format
You have spent hours making your PDF CV look stunning! However, it might be all for nothing, as not all ATS can scan or read PDF for keywords and other important information correctly. Talking purely about searchability and the ease with which your CV can be read by an ATS, sending your CV as a Word Document is always the safest bet. All ATS can read and scan a CV in Word, plus it is much easier for ATS to parse Word it into a digital applicant profile. Remember though, do not use text boxes, tables, columns, logos, colours, or special fonts which can also prevent ATS from reading the content correctly.

2. Keyword Optimised
It is essential your CV is keyword optimised as much as possible, in line with the roles you are applying for. Job descriptions will give you plenty of pointers. Research and cross-reference job advert content with your content. Check how roles are described, what titles they use, and what key skills the employer is looking for. Use these relevant terms and spread them responsibly throughout your CV. Do not over list terms otherwise your CV may be seen as spamming.

3. Headline
Your headline should be focused on the exact job you are targeting and state the exact job title. Let's say you are applying for Customer Service Manager roles, by having your headline as "Customer Service Manager" it will maximise success and ensure your CV is ranked higher.

4. Summary
Start your summary with a strong clear statement of who you are and what you do. Follow this with 2-3 targeted sentences. Highlight your most relevant strengths, skillset, and core competencies that are unique to you as a candidate and relevant to the role.

5. Key Skills
Your skill section is vital to ensure your CV is keyword optimised and passes ATS. Don't simply copy relevant skills from job advert and list as bullet points, tell one or two sentences about it and demonstrate your experience, however, make sure to keep it short and factual. It's important to highlight your best hard and soft skills to position yourself as a well-rounded candidate. Have the right mix of both!

6. Education & Qualifications
Ensure you list the exact qualifications (Bachelor's Degree, MBA, etc) as well as the place you gained it - some universities or institutions can add additional search quality to your CV.

7. Career History
Put your "Job Title" first, then "Company name (country)" and then the "start and end date". Below this quickly set the scene by adding a 1 line introduction on the company, and possibly what level you are reported to, then list your duties and responsibilities. Keep it skill/task driven and relevant to the roles you are going to target. To close, list all stand out achievements at the end. Your previous job title might be "Customer Care Manager" as the main job title for example, but then, as you describe the role, say something like: "As a customer service manager, it was my responsibility to..."

8. CV File Name
Name your CV file as a combination of your name, the job title you are applying for and "CV", this looks professional and makes it easy for recruiters to find the correct file.

Following the above should help you improve the chances of your job search success. However, we at the CV Squad know how hard it can be to write a strong and optimised CV. Our free CV review service can help identify if your CV is presenting you in the best possible way, and provides additional advice and tips on how to improve it. Or take advantage of our professional CV Writing Service and let our team of CV experts help you create a search friendly CV that will help you win the job you want.

April 2022

Related Articles: