Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter offers and idea for how to beat the applicant tracking system and get more interviews.

Read Full Transcript

Amazingly, defeating the applicant tracking system involves cover letters, something that is such an anachronism in these modern times that, for most people, it is a complete waste. For an applicant tracking system, I think it is the way to defeat them. Here's how it goes.

Most people use cover letter as a separate attachment, right? That's not really good help you with an applicant tracking system and, if you put in the body of an email, that won't help an applicant tracking system either. Finally for second.

What I encourage people to do is take a job description that you know exists, like you are submit a resume because you saw an ad, you don't have the time or inclination to track down the hiring manager or network to the hiring manager you're actually going to submit your resume through the applicant tracking system. God bless you and this is the best thing I can suggest to you.

You make page 1 of your resume the cover letter. Slide everything down the page. Thus, your resume actually begins on page 2. Page 1 of your resume as a section that is in 2 columns. The left column has the job description; the right column has how long and how recently you've work with that particular skill. Here's how it defeats the system.

The systems are generally looking at page 1 and maybe the beginning of page 2 4 how your background meshes with the job. Everything of the job description is now on page 1, right? After all, everything that they're looking for – – role, responsibilities, accomplishments, if you're in IT, the technology that you've used – – is part of what you are using this list. They are going to tell them how long and how recently you've work with it.

Everything is on page 1. It causes the system to choke. It causes the system to say, "this person looks like a fit."

At the end of the day, if you are going to submit your resume to an applicant tracking system, use a cover letter as page 1, following this format that I'm suggesting and I'm sure you will get more interviews.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio” and “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” both available through iTunes and Stitcher.

Are you interested in executive job search coaching, leadership coaching or life coaching from me?  Email me at and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line.

Do you have a question you would like me to answer? Pay $25 via PayPal to offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

About the author

Leave a Comment, Thought, Opinion. Speak like you're speaking with someone you love.