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How to beat the ATS bots when applying for a job

ATS bots CV

While you might think a well-presented CV filled with tangible examples of how you’ve added value to your previous roles is enough to secure an interview, think again.

Recruiters and hiring managers are now relying on sophisticated AI-driven applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen potential candidates. If your CV doesn’t pass the test, it will be discarded before a human even glances at it.

A new era of recruitment

Research has shown that 75% of recruiters or hiring managers rely on ATS bots to streamline the recruitment process, while over 98% of Fortune 500 companies reportedly use ATS bots.

Some companies are even going one step further—in 2022 a leaked memo from Amazon dated from October 2021 revealed details about the company’s new in-house AI recruitment technology, Automated Applicant Evaluation (AAE).

Not only does AAE screen candidates for eligibility based on the job description, but it also goes further by predicting how successful the applicant might be in the role before forwarding them for an interview.

Words matter

So how do ATS bots work exactly and how can you beat them? For starters, every CV and cover letter you send out should be individually tailored to the job you’re applying for. And while the information you provide must be accurate and reflective of your skills and experience, the language you use should be adapted to include the keywords detailed in the job description.

Next, look at the language you’re using. Recent data shows that seven out of 10 of the most requested skills in job descriptions were durable skills such as leadership, critical thinking, creativity and communication, so it is essential that you include them to frame your experience in a more structured way. The easiest way to do this is by using “power” words like “initiated”, “developed”, “coordinated”, “orchestrated”, “adapted” and “strengthened”.

Finally, look at the structure or layout of your CV. Yes, graphs and tables work well when trying to get your point across in a presentation but they can confuse some systems and prevent data from being interpreted correctly. Instead, keep your CV to two pages, use bullet points and succinct sentences and make sure you upload your documents in the accepted formats. There’s no point in spending time and effort honing your application only to fall at the first hurdle because of a technical oversight.

Ready to put your CV to the test to make 2023 the year you get a new job? The UKTN Job Board has hundreds of openings in companies that are actively hiring, like the three below.

Senior system software engineer – security, TikTok, London

The security team at TikTok is missioned to build infrastructures, platforms, and technologies, and support cross-functional teams to protect users and products. As a senior system software engineer you’ll have the opportunity to research, design and implement security properties and architecture solutions based on trusted computing and hardware root-of-trust along with new approaches to execution monitoring, remote attestation, code signing, and malware mitigation.

Applicants should have a master’s degree, PhD or bachelor’s degree with two years of experience in computer science, computer engineering or electrical engineering, and five-plus years of experience in a major tech company. Knowledge of hardware root-of-trust (TCG TPM, Intel TXT/Bootguard/PFR, SPDM over MCTP) and programming languages such as C/C++, Golang, Rust, x86/ARM assembly, Verilog or Python is also required.

View more details about this role here.

Cloud security operations analyst, GoCardless, London

The cloud security operations analyst at GoCardless will participate in the design, development and implementation of cloud security architecture, strategy and standards. You’ll work closely with the security operations manager to ensure a data-driven approach and will take a prominent role in reviewing the existing cloud security measures and processes. Desired skills include knowledge of cloud security controls, experience using SIEM tools (ideally Splunk) to develop security monitoring cases and writing scripts to automate tasks, and an ability to use EDR or IDS/IPS tools.

See the full job description here.

Principal software engineer – mobile, Skyscanner, Glasgow

Skyscanner is seeking a principal staff engineer in mobile, to bring technical leadership to large-scale architectural implementations. You’ll be able to provide technical guidance, support and drive iterative delivery through thin vertical slices of features to deliver to real users in production.

You’ll also collaborate with principal engineers in other areas of the business, to influence technical direction across the organisation. The tech stack includes Swift, SwiftUI, Objective-C, Kotlin, Java, Fastlane, AWS, Dagger, Kotlin Coroutines, RxJava, Retrofit, and Android Architecture Components.

Find out more about this position here.

Explore a vast range of exciting opportunities in tech via the UKTN Job Board

This article is part of a paid partnership with careers marketplace Jobbio to share the most exciting UK tech jobs with UKTN readers.