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How to Better Manage Resumes with an ATS

4 min read

Resumes are an important part of the hiring process. They give you a thorough overview of a candidate before you ever meet them.

However, keeping track of all the resumes you receive is difficult without an applicant tracking system (ATS). It’s common for recruiters to have some stored in email, others saved on their desktop and few more scattered across different places.

It can also be a nightmare to deal with resumes in different document types and unique designs. Fortunately, an ATS can convert every resume you receive into a standardized format and keep them stored in one place.

In this business guide, you’ll learn how an applicant tracking system can solve common resume dilemmas so you can focus on what’s really important – finding the right person to hire.

Never lose another resume with an applicant tracking system

An open job attracts a lot of candidates. Whether you receive dozens or hundreds of applicants, it’s important to keep resumes and other documents candidates send in a single place. Allowing these documents to spread out all over the place doesn’t make for an efficient hiring process and prevents you from giving each candidate a fair look.

Your applicant tracking solution creates a consistently-formatted candidate profile for every person who applies to your company. Every profile is populated with the candidate’s unique details and stored in your applicant tracking solution. Instead of trying to recall where a certain resume is saved, you can go right to your ATS for the information you need.

The power of resume parsing

It’s quite amazing how an applicant tracking system turns every resume into a standardized candidate profile. When someone applies to an open position on your company’s careers page, they upload their resume. Many people assume the recruiter on the other end downloads their beautiful resume and is blown away by the great document they created.

What actually happens is the applicant tracking solution “parses” their resume, meaning it pulls out the various details and enters them into the correct field in the candidate profile. You never have to painstakingly scan another cluttered resume. Just pull up the candidate’s profile and you can quickly get an idea of who they are and what they’ve done in their career.

Search your ATS database for the right candidate

The database of profiles in your applicant tracking solution will become a great candidate source as your company grows. As people fall out of contention for the role they apply for, you can archive their profile in your ATS. When new roles open, you can search your database for previous applicants who might be a good fit.

Your applicant tracking system has “Boolean Search Functionality,” meaning you can use “AND,” “NOT,” or “OR” qualifiers to filter your candidate profiles for specific criteria. Here’s an example:

Your growing company is seeking a software developer to join the team in the Denver. The lead developer insists the new hire be proficient in Python coding language. Going through a folder of resumes in hopes of finding a candidate who meets those requirements would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Fortunately, all you have to do is search for “Python” AND “Denver” and your applicant tracking solution will present you with a list of candidate profiles that contain both those terms. You can even do a search for “Software Developer” AND “Denver” to zero-in on some more software developers in that area who might know Python but didn’t include it on their resume.

Use an ATS to accept resumes in every document type

Some people save their resume as a Word doc or PDF. Others get a bit wild and create a HTML or image file. These varying document types can cause technical problems for recruiters who really only need to understand the person’s background.

Your applicant tracking system is able to accept resumes in DOC, DOCX, PDF, HTML, RTF and TXT formats. When an applicant uploads any of those document types, the system will parse the resume details and create and store the candidate profile. And you can of course search through your ATS at anytime to give previous candidates another look.

Avoid duplicate resumes in your ATS database

Clean databases are always important. In the case of an applicant tracking solution, that means avoiding multiple candidate profiles for the same person.

Sometimes a person applies for the same job more than once. They might come across your posting on different job boards or apply again if the position reopens. When this happens, your applicant tracking system will not create another candidate profile. It will recognize that the phone number on the resume matches a number that’s already in your database. The system will notify you of a potential duplicate resume so you can maintain a clean database of candidate profiles.

Get past the resume and to the person with an applicant tracking system

Resumes are an important part of hiring – to an extent. They help you understand a person’s background so you can determine if they’re worth meeting in person.

Don’t spend too much time or effort on resumes. Manage them with an applicant tracking solution so you can spend more time getting to know the person behind the document.

Check out our features page to learn more about the benefits of an ATS.

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