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  • Writer's pictureSarah Seavey

Featured on WGN Chicago

What are your top two tips for job seekers?

The first is to be aware of Applicant Tracking Systems. Applicant Tracking Systems also known as ATS, are used by corporations to assist with recruitment and hiring processes. These systems are primarily used to collect, organize, and filter applicants.

Meaning, similar to how you can filter job postings on a job board, the system can scan applications and/or resumes based on key terms entered by a hiring manager. This includes education level, skills, years of experience and industry key terms, and more.

The goal is to help the hiring manager narrow down and find the best-matched candidates. Job seekers who submit their resume and job application through an online form or portal are often interacting with an ATS.

My second tip is to Leverage your network. There two ways you’ll land an interview, one is with your resume, and two is by a referral. When planning your job search, give yourself the best odds of landing an interview by creating a quality resume and leveraging your network.

This means reaching out to contacts in the field, asking for recommendations on the best way to apply, and asking for advice and insight into industry and company.

What can someone do right now to start?

For resumes, although you won't know the key terms the hiring manager will be searching for in the ATS, the job description is really your best indicator of what qualifications and skills are the best fit for the role. You can start today by running your resume through a mock Applicant Tracking System found on sites such as or Using sites like these, you can see how your resume scores against a job description and be better prepared for Applicant Tracking Systems.

For networking, utilize LinkedIn to find professionals in your network and at the desired companies. Many people are not aware that LinkedIn has directories to help you identify the best connections. Studies show that being clear and specific when reaching out to a professional contact for advice can greatly increase your chance of receiving a response. Ensure you are clear on why you are reaching out, the time commitment you are asking for, and how exactly the individual can help you.

Next, leverage your resources! Check out online resources from non-profit career centers, your local library, and/or your college or university alumni career services. These are just a few examples of great free resources to help you land your next role! You can find sample outreach messages, step-by-step guides to LinkedIn, and more free resources at

Read the full WGNTV article here.

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