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7 November, 2011 Posted by John G. Self
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2 December, 2020 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Coaching, Career Management, Career Transition/Outplacement, Resume, Your Career Success
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YIKES! ATS – It’s Taking Over the (Talent Acquisition) World

Posted December 2nd, 2020 | Author: John G. Self

The biggest roadblock for most job applicants for executive or management positions is in the resume review.  Electronic, automated resume review, as in Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

If you are contemplating hiring a professional resume writer, ask them how you must adjust their work for each job for which you apply. Suppose they do not know or tell you that constant revisions will not be necessary? Full stop!  Find another vendor.

Here are a few fun facts about the spread of ATS systems.  

  1. It’s Spreading. Once found only in the largest corporations – as late as four or five years ago – their use is now spreading into medium-sized organizations at a high rate of speed as the acquisition/licensing costs have lowered and more companies rely on internal recruiters to find the necessary talent.  These organizations, attempting to manage their talent acquisition costs, rely on ATS to organize the flow of the hundreds or the many thousands of resumes they receive online each week and to cull the un-qualified or underqualified applicants. 
  2. This sucks. Research shows that for every 100 applicants received for a given position, about 75 percent are rejected because the resume’s information did not match the position needs, which is to say the algorithm did not detect the keywords or job duty phrases specific to a given job.  Or these phrases and keywords were dumped in the Professional Summary and not incorporated throughout the document.  This reflects how the average ATS has become scarily sophisticated.  
  3. Generic is so yesterday. Most of the rejected resumes are generic.  There was little or no customization for the specific job, talent acquisition executives believe.  This means there was little or no chance that a human would ever see the resume.  
  4. Dead bang bad advice. The artificial intelligence component of the scanning is only going to become more sophisticated.  Those who believe they can beat the system with a few tweaks to a resume have learned or will learn that this advice is outdated and dead bang wrong.
  5. The speed of change is accelerating. The speed of change in the talent acquisition field is accelerating.  What amounts to good, solid advice today may be totally out of date in six months.  Sometimes less.  A good coach will help you adapt. 
  6. We are here to help. For a free telephone consult, contact us at YourCareerSuccess@JohnGSelf.Com.

© 2020 John Gregory Self

30 November, 2020 Posted by John G. Self Posted in career advancement, Career Coaching, Career Transition/Outplacement, Resume
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Recruiting Tool We Love to Hate

Posted November 30th, 2020 | Author: John G. Self

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) is the one element of the recruiting process that most job applicants love to hate.  ATS is cussed and discussed as much as the habit of some executive recruiters not returning telephone calls.

ATS is a system loaded with the promise of improved efficiency in the recruiting process with an equal amount of irony; the resume is your first interview, but you will not be present nor will anyone from the prospective employer.  A decision regarding your continued consideration will be made by electronics and sophisticated mathematical formulas called algorithms. 

The bad news is that nothing much will change in the immediate future. ATS is not going away.  In fact, it will play a more prominent role in recruiting as the cost of these systems decline, and as the artificial intelligence component of the screening mechanism becomes more sophisticated.  When it comes to recruiters, well, they are what they are – transactionally oriented consultants whose continued prosperity requires that they be more interested in maintaining client relationships than soothing the feelings of a finalist who invested time and effort to be a good candidate, but who was not selected and just wanted feedback.

It is common to encounter executives who feel the ATS algorithms are unfair and should not be used to rule on executives’ resumes.  OK, I understand their irritation, but I would hasten to add that the likelihood of an executive winning an argument with an ATS screening computer is somewhere between slim and none.

…the likelihood of an executive winning an argument with an ATS screening computer is somewhere between slim and none.

John G. Self

The best course of action is to understand how these systems work and adjust how you apply for jobs.  

Here are five essential factors that job applicants must take into consideration when submitting their resume to a computer:

  1. The computer is scanning by category and keywords.  If you submit a generic resume – one that you have not customized for the specific job you are applying for without keywords or phrases – you are wasting your time and delaying your job search.  
  2. Identify the keywords from the job posting.  Also, identify key phrases describing the position.  Incorporate the keywords with relevant accomplishments in your Professional Summary at the top of your resume.  Then integrate the keywords and phrases throughout your resume, especially in descriptions of your other positions.
  3. Do not use a resume template.  ATS scanners tend to like basic resume formats.  Do not use graphics or boxes to highlight your accomplishments.  Less is more.
  4. Do not use a PDF format unless the ATS system indicates that this graphical format is acceptable.  Microsoft Word is the preferred word processor.
  5. Look for guidance on the typeface you select.  Ariel and Georgia are safe.  Verdana is the easiest typeface to read on a computer screen, which is where most resume are read for the first time by a human.

Bonus:  Check your spelling.  Some companies set their ATS scanning to exclude resumes with typos or misspelled words. 

© 2020 John Gregory Self

26 November, 2020 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career, Interviewing Skills, Job Search
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Happy Thanksgiving

Posted November 26th, 2020 | Author: John G. Self

© 2020 John Gregory Self

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