4 Ways to Spot Employers Using Applicant Tracking Systems to Screen Resumes

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4 Ways to Spot Employers Using Applicant Tracking Systems to Screen Resumes

In an earlier post we provided tips to producing a well-written resume with a resume checklist, and we indicated the importance of having an applicant tracking system-ready, or ATS-ready, resume. As more employers are inundated with resumes, it becomes harder to find the right talent. So, many employers have resorted to ATS software to help screen resumes that come in.

As a job applicant, if you don’t have an ATS-ready resume, you’ll have a much harder time trying to break through and gain the attention of hiring managers. One way around this is to network using the help of a referral. But that option is not always readily available. So, in stances like this, it’s critical to have an ATS-friendly resume ready. It’s also advantageous to know when to use it. There are ways to spot whether an employer is using ATS software to screen resumes.


  1. You are completing an online form with required text fields
    When an employer has an online form to complete with required text fields, that often indicates your details and specifics in your resume are being collected and formatted into a searchable database the hiring manager and recruiters use. Employer who are not using ATS software to filter applicant resumes may just ask that you send in information via email, which is then reviewed manually by a person.
  2. You are directed to a new website with the ATS company name
    After you review the job posting and proceed to apply for the job, in some in stances you may be redirected to a new website. The page may appear to look similar in design as the previous page you were on, but what you should look at is the URL and for any logos on the page. Employers who are using ATS software may have applicants redirected to the ATS vendor. The URL may read: com/taleo.net/… Taleo is an ATS vendor. There are also other ATS vendors like Jobvite and iCIMS.
  3. There is an “Easy Apply” button for the job on LinkedIn
    LinkedIn is a key source for job seekers and hiring managers alike in finding the right match to the next job and right talent, respectively. Often there is great ease in applying to a job on LinkedIn, especially if the “Easy Apply” button is available. The “Easy Apply” button is a sign that your application is running through an ATS process within LinkedIn’s own system. Relevant information from your profile is pulled for the employer.When you apply, there is the option to attach your resume. You should always attach our resume because it can be tailored and personalized for the employer. But remember, it’s critical that your LinkedIn profile is also ATS ready. Your LinkedIn profile should be 100% complete and your story should be relevant to what the employer is seeking. It benefits to have a LinkedIn profile that signals you’re passionate about the industry/profession and that you have a track record of success.
  1. You are applying to a large company or you’re dealing with a recruiting agency
    Whenever there is a significant number of job openings or applicants involved, employers will resort to software to help manage incoming resumes. Most Fortune 500 companies rely on ATS software. Recruiting agencies are also dealing with multiple job openings and many job applicants, so you’ll see that many of them also utilize ATS software to handle the massive number of job applicants.

It takes attention to detail to know when you’re dealing with an employer who is using ATS software to screen resumes. To come out ahead of the game, make the necessary fixes on the resume and LinkedIn profile to ensure you achieve a top ranking under the eyes of screening software. For tips on writing on ATS-friendly resume, read: “Applicant Tracking Systems: What’s Changed and How Does It Impact Resume Writing.”

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