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Adam Summers
Adam Summers

Zygaverse Blog

The Real Reason You Don’t Hear Back From Your Job Applications

The Real Reason You Don’t Hear Back From Your Job Applications

The reason you missed out on that job is that Rusty-The-ATS-Robot had a breakdown! But no one wants to get him fixed, because everyone is too lazy and they just don’t care about you enough!

ATS’s, otherwise known as Applicant Tracking Systems, are a primitive form of technology used by companies to filter out job applicants for roles. Some recruiters and employers have become reliant on these for the hiring processes and 494 of the Fortune 500 companies use an ATS. At Zygaverse, we put people first, which is why naturally we consider the ATS our mortal enemy. The ATS is probably the reason you have not heard back from the 99 jobs you applied for in the last 6 months, and the thing is, the ATS, and the companies that use them, don’t care about you as a person (even though they say they do)! They care about convenience and taking the time to understand you, is frankly, inconvenient. The truth is they prefer to look at you as a transactional commodity, and sadly the ATS is their enforcer. 

Here is what happens when you apply to a company that uses an ATS. You can imagine the ATS as a rusty robot from the 1980's that combs over your old-school word document as soon as you submit it to a company to formalise your job application. Before looking at your resume Rusty-The-ATS-Robot is given instructions by his carer. The carer is the person at the company that is in charge of recruitment. They tell Rusty what they think will be good for the company and what they personally don’t like. For example, the recruiter may tell Rusty to discriminate against people that are over-qualified, aren’t educated enough, or, haven’t copied the keywords in from the job advertisement.  

Now it’s Rusty’s turn to do the work. He examines your resumé, but he can’t really understand what’s going on because his brain doesn’t work that well. His masters only gave him certain instructions and if he comes across something that isn’t in the instruction manual, he has a breakdown. 

Did you know that 75% of applications are rejected before a human even sees them? Many of the best candidates for the role don’t even make it to the recruiter! Most of the time people’s applications are rejected because Rusty has completely no idea what to do when it comes to tables, designs, different document formats, and, information that hasn’t been child proofed. If the formatting of your resume is off, or it has a nice design, Rusty says "no". He can’t work with this human stuff, dumb down for Rusty. Be careful if you don’t use a word document, anything else submitted to the hunter-gatherer ATS’s may as well be written in hieroglyphics. “Does not compute”. If you forgot to copy in keywords from the job advertisement, you will also be discriminated against because you’re not the right “fit” for the organisation. Better make sure if you do put keywords in though, that you pop them up in a few of your job roles because increased keyword frequency makes Rusty happy. More keywords make Rusty feel good. When you’re putting your experience in you should also know that the time you’ve been in a role can influence how Rusty-The-ATS-Robot ranks you. People with 20 years in one role are always better than the people that only have 5 years, isn’t that right Rusty?

The whole system is screwed. Your job-hunting success doesn’t actually depend on your capabilities or your key skills, it depends on how well you know how to deal with a developmentally challenged robot that lives in a world made entirely out of word documents. The people that get jobs at companies aren’t the best-suited candidates, half the time they probably aren’t even in the top 30% of the most suited candidates. But, they are the people that have taken the time read the ancient scrolls detailing how the ancient ATS works.  We don’t want technology to negatively affect you, which is why we’ve made a resume builder with an inbuilt coach that will help you navigate these pesty inventions.


Photo: Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

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