Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software is sold to companies and recruiting firms wanting to improve hiring processes and human resources management. Reducing hiring costs is the primary benefit of the software. Altogether there are now over 200 ATS products offered.
ATS products reduce cost. Staggering numbers of resumes are received electronically by ATS rather than humans and are scanned in milliseconds. People require half a minute to glance over the first page of a resume. Thus cost savings are achieved by eliminating people.
While hiring companies are the benefactors of the software, job seekers are not. Parsing software that ‘reads’ resumes is the key tool used by ATS to eliminate those whose resumes do not meet predefined requirements. And parsing software is seriously flawed. Chief among the flaws is the inability of parsers to read graphics. If the parser encounters a graphic it may not attempt to read any further. All information presented thereafter may be lost.
Other flaws include how information is presented (format), section titles used, and even what kind of file the document is saved in. Compounding this is the fact that document creation software, for example, Microsoft Word, makes document creation simple and efficient, but in the process introduces graphics attributes into the document that are invisible to humans. In total there are over 40 attributes that may be unwittingly introduced into resumes.
Resumes created using document creation software will often cause a gagging reflex in parsers causing rejection or non-response regardless of how well an applicant meets requirements. The losers are not only candidates, but companies who will not see some of the best candidates because they are rejected by the software that is supposed to help them find good people.
Fortunately there are a few professionals who understand how to create resumes that are ATS parsing compatible.
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