Back in the day, if you wanted to apply for a job you either lined up outside of the store, handed your resume to a secretary or HR person or simply snail mailed it.
Enter the internet in the 90s. Email came into existence and applying for jobs got a lot easier: you didn’t need to leave home anymore or waste hours queueing: you could email tens of potential employers in that same amount of time.
As the internet became more refined, companies started to have online databases where you could enter your personal information to apply for jobs. Let’s call this the 2rd iteration of recruitment technology, since lining up and handing down resumes didn’t involve technology.
These databases became more sophisticated and became platforms that go beyond their initial function of being a resume storage place.
Nowadays, software suites such as Taleo, Brassring or Oracle incorporate functions such as process workflow, communication management and search.
Consequences of misusing and abusing ATS
The biggest mistake some people still make is thinking career portals at company sites as part of the second generation of recruitment technology: a big bag where you drop your resume and you get picked. Unfortunately ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) don’t work like this and your applications become wasted bullets.
Jobs are organized within the ATS as different folders or bags. If you apply for X job, you won’t be considered for every position in the company where your skills and experience apply. Your application is just for that job and no other.
Other people understands this principle but continue applying the same old logic. They apply to every open position and what happens is that after the recruiter sees your second application -for a job different than the first one you applied to- he or she gets the feeling that you just went fishing for anything that bites, like this guy I ran into a few days ago:
That’s what I call a goal oriented individual. [/sarcasm]
This strategy only slims your chances of going from applicant to candidate -the first filter- so make sure that you apply only to those jobs where you know you are qualified and meet requirements. This means that you actually have to read the job description and requirements to be considered. Lastly, avoid blanketing the ATS with your resume, it doesn’t look good.
Looking for a job is more of a bow-and-arrow thing than machine gun target practice.