How to make your CV stand out through Automated Tracking Systems

Guest BloggerApplications, Final Year, First Year, Graduates, Postgraduate, Second Year

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While it’s no myth that you need to make your CV stand out to employers, it’s important for job seekers to know that nearly 40% of employers use Automated Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen candidates for their job openings. With so many companies using ATS, whether you are wanting to work for start-ups or you’re applying for graduate schemes, you will need to tailor your CV for all roles.

If you don’t know how to beat the applicant tracking system then you run the risk of your CV been thrown away when applying for UK graduate jobs before it is even seen by a human!

So, we know that one of most increasingly popular ways to recruit new talent is for companies to use an applicant tracking system – but how do they work?

Six tips on how to beat the ATS system

1. Update your online information

Sometimes, the ATS CV test will do more than look over the CV that you have submitted to them. The applicant tracking system (ATS) can actually browse the web and look into information that you have provided to ensure that it all matches. It’s worth ensuring that you keep all of your online social media (such as LinkedIn) up to date and ensure that your CV is as clear, honest and accurate as possible or you might get rejected before you get to the interview questions!

2. Submit the right type of file

One of the most simple things to remember when you’re researching how to get your CV past ATS is to ensure that you are uploading the right file. All ATS CV scanners will look for a certain acceptable file type – if you submit the wrong type of file then most automated tracking systems will either reject the application or make inaccuracies.

3. Use keywords customised for the job

An ATS CV checker will scan your CV for certain words that match the job description or highlight the key employability skills that companies look out for. Because of this, you might want to test your CV through a free applicant tracking system so that you can tailor your CV to the role. Speak to recruiters about which words are relevant to the position but also connect to real skills and experience in the workplace, unique job history and explain why this makes you perfect for the role.

4. Use standard section headings

When you are preparing your resume for the ATS CV Scanner, you might want to ensure that you have used the proper section headings to get past the usual applicant tracking system online free. You’ll need to use basic formatting on your applicant tracking system online because you want the ATS CV tracker to be able to read your resume easily. In our webinar (more details below) we will show you the ideal ATS CV template and use certain free CV templates.

5. Write out acronyms and titles

Different types of automated tracking systems can be set to search for different things. For example, if you are applying for graduate marketing jobs, one ATS CV Checker might look for the acronym of a phrase e.g. ‘SEO’ while another automated tracking system might be looking for the long-form term or phrase such as ‘Search Engine Optimization’. Therefore, a top tip to beat the applicant tracking systems is to include both the longer written word as well as the acronym e.g. ‘Search Engine Optimization (SEO)’. This is particularly important for graduate IT jobs where you could be expected to reference a particular type of programming. 

6. Follow up with the employer

When you have an ATS CV scan or ATS CV checker looking over your CV there are a lot of different aspects to consider, which we will explore more in our upcoming webinar. However, if you really want to get through to the final decision maker at the company, then it’s worth sending them a message one or two weeks after your application to let them know that you’ve applied and let them know why you’re keen for the role. For entry-level sales jobs, the employer might appreciate trying alternative ways to get yourself noticed and if you are using recruitment services then you can follow up with your recruiter.

So, with over 40% of companies using ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) to screen CV’s and the process becoming increasingly popular in the job market, we are excited to share all the secrets of beating the ATS Robots and helping you land your dream graduate jobs.


Join our Top UK Recruitment Agency Give A Grad A Go for ‘Beat the Robots! How to get your CV through automated screening’ free online webinar on Tuesday 6th April at 5pm to find out from the experts how you can get past the CV scanning-bots! If you can’t make it, then subscribe to our YouTube Channel to watch our career advice videos and join our Facebook networking group

Sign up here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_cl88mFkQRdS8sXobxisb1A


This blog post was written by Give A Grad A Go, an external company. Their views are their own. To view a range of alternative careers events, please check the events calendar on Aston Futures. Aston University’s Careers+Placements Team can offer support on writing effective CVs. To get started, take a look at our CV360 tool or book an appointment with a member of the team through Aston Futures.

Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels