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There are three words these days when spoken together make me cringe: Applicant Tracking Systems. My skin literally crawls at the thought of them. Here’s why... As a career coach, I’ve know for a while applicant tracking systems companies are using to store and search through candidates have been producing poor results. This WSJ article further proves it. (My favorite part is where the HR person applied for a job in his own company and didn’t get past the ATS!) The technology not only hurts the employer’s chance of getting the right talent for the job, it also makes those applying feel like total failures. I’d call this a lose-lose situation, wouldn’t you?

Only 2 Ways to Fight Back

As a job seeker, you only have two ways you can outsmart the ATS.
  1. You can skip applying online and network your way in so the hiring manager gets your resume and cover letter through referral.
  2. You can try to create a resume specifically for each job you apply to online by stuffing it with keywords that will match what the ATS is looking for. (This process is very labor intensive and still doesn't guarantee success.)

The Real Solution: Your Interview Bucket List

Instead of worrying about the ATS, I say focus on your Interview Bucket List. By strategically networking with companies you admire, you will build relationships and trust that can lead to you being introduced to hiring managers. It’s far more effective and rewarding because you:
  • Are motivated to connect with people at a company you respect.
  • Will see faster/better results from your networking because you feel aligned to the people you are meeting through your shared admiration for the employer.
If you aren’t getting interviews through your online application efforts, you must, I mean MUST give the Interview Bucket List process a try. It will help you gain confidence in yourself and make you feel more productive.

You Can Choose Your Employer!

Stop letting those dirty little ATS get the best of your job search. Work on your Interview Bucket List and take control of your career. You deserve to work for a company that impresses you. But, that won’t happen unless you identify those companies and network with them. So, let’s get going, shall we?

Your Next Step

School teaches you everything except how to get the job. You must invest time in learning the right way to job search. I just finished four new training videos for you - they're all about executing an easier job search in this economy. My videos are completely free and I'm confident you're going to find them useful. The link to access the first one is below. WATCH VIDEO NOW ► Image Credit: Shutterstock
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