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Sometimes I don’t want to fill in the optional blanks like the high school information professional experiences, cover letters etc. however I’m really concerned it will influence the results. So how do recruiters go through online applications.  Will they use resumes or just the application pages?

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The question for today is:

"How do recruiters go through an online job application?"
I want to read the rest of the question.  "Sometimes, I don't want to fill in the optional blanks, all the professional experiences, cover letters, etc..  However, I am really concerned as to how will affect the results.  How do recruiters go through online applications?  Will they see your resume or just the online application pages?"

1st of all, you have to understand that when firms deploy an applicant tracking system, they are just trying to fill certain types of jobs.  They have government reporting requirements that cause them to need to fill all kinds of jobs, some of which will involve people who might only need to have a high school diploma.  Only including college ignores these people and their needs.  If you are a college grad and they are asking about high school, if you or someone with a Masters, do not worry about high school.

What's more interesting is the fact that you upload a resume and it searches the resume to populate certain fields so it will take data from your resume(Name, address, phone numbers, , minimally, a city state and ZIP Code. Minimally, a city state and ZIP Code) for their data, because, think about it, how will they ever find you? 

Seriously. Do you think the area code of the phone number works anymore? It doesn't because people have mobile phones and move from place to place. Minimally, you have to give them city, state and ZIP Code.

The applicant tracking system should be able to parse the data from your resume when you uploaded, including your college degree, where you went to school, if you referenced your GPA, it should be able to pull that out.

It should be able to recognize all the individual jobs on your resume. I want to caution that if you are a consultant, I want you to go back manually and make sure that it is obvious that you are a consultant that these organizations so that they don't reject you because you have given them the appearance and impression that you are a job hopper.

Will they actually see your resume once you have actually uploaded it and once you have filled in all the stuff? A lot of it gets weaned by the system to give them preferences.

You have to understand that when employer receives resumes, most of them are absolute spam to them. The Purdue chicken plucker applying for the software engineering job is 1 of the examples I always give because that has actually happened to me.There systems will rate your resume and lower and make it less of a priority for them to look at if it doesn't really demonstrate a fit for the role according to the system.

Ultimately, what they are not doing is looking at these fields, except that they are trying to reach you at a future date. What they are looking at is your actual resume and discerning from that if you actually fit the job.

They may never get to it unless your resume demonstrates unfit and the system recognizes it as a fit. So always review your application and make sure that you have done enough to show that you fit the specific requirements of the job and don't just simply upload a resume.

By the way, one last thing, I think it's important that you hear this.

Never ever apply for jobs to applicant tracking system. What you should be doing is finding out who the hiring manager is and contacting them directly. Do not apply to HR. Do not apply for jobs through the ATS. Only contact hiring managers and submit your resume to them


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching and life coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1000 episodes,“ Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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