The ATS: Still A Jobseeker’s Enemy

Okay. We get it. Employers, you need Applicant Tracking Systems because you are overwhelmed by the resumes that are coming in. That’s partially because this economy is so bad that desperate jobseekers are submitting their resumes everywhere, without consideration for whether they are qualified for the job at hand.

ATSes serve a lot of fantastic functions, like eliminating those people.

But they can do a lot more harm than good.

According to this WSJ article about the rise of ATSes (about five years too late, guys?), even the tiniest misstep can throw you out of the running.

Example: “One small error, such as listing the name of a former employer after the years worked there, instead of before, can ruin a great candidate’s chances.”


Josh Bersin, CEO of Bersin & Associates, says that it’s a good idea to try to counteract this issue by putting your former employer, dates worked, and position all on separate lines–at least in the machine-readable version of your resume.

“There are some things parsers are just too stupid to figure out,” he told the WSJ.

Can we just say “argh,” please?

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