ATS is often the cause. While some ATS software is better than others, there is a lot of information about the causes of ATS rejection of job applicants. Some of it is correct and some of it is conjecture passed on with good intentions, but without an understanding of the real causes. The following are the key reasons for rejection or non-response when the ATS does not or cannot properly extract information from a resume.
Qualification. Some applicants simply don't meet the qualifications. Sometimes they don't care and waste precious job search time by applying anyway.
Key words. Some people ignore using key words exactly as written in job descriptions or fail to use them in context. Key words are the first level filter in all ATS and recruiting searches.
Graphics. ATS parsers cannot extract text located inside graphics. Text inside a graphic is interpreted as just part of the graphic. Frequently resumes are created using word processing shortcuts that use graphics into which the text is written. For instance, if a name and/or contact information is written inside a header, ATS will never know who the person is or how to contact them.
Columns. Some people use text columns to format a resume. ATS parsing software reads data across the full page, one line at a time. This jumbles columnar information into sentences that make no sense.
PDF files. Most ATS software cannot read PDF files. PDF files are graphical representations of text files. Although some ATS providers claim they can read PDF files, what they fail to say is "converted PDF files". There are two types of PDF files, Native and Scanned, plus many variants. How is one to know which variant the file is? And how is one to know if their resume will be scrutinized by an ATS that is capable of reading PDF files?
These are only 5 of over 40 possible issues that can contribute to ATS rejection.
The bottom line. Make sure you are qualified before you apply. For the best online application success, use keywords exactly as written in job descriptions, do not use word processing creation tools, and don't apply online with a PDF file. Apply using txt or doc files.
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