[INFOGRAPHIC] Robots are reading your application! [ATS]

ATS Infographic TGA Graduate


In our most recent infographic, we run through the basics of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and how you can pass the robots! In actuality, it’s really quite simple, as you would have followed from the infographic. Regardless, we’ve put together a little tip section below.


How it works

How ATS actually works is it filters through all your information, checks for the occurrence of keywords and the frequency of these words appearing with other related keywords, then assigns your application a score. You are then ranked on this score with all the other applicants. A fraction of the bottom applications are then rejected.



  1. Make sure all your words are spelt correctly! Even just one typo can make the robots toss your application straight into the trash can.
  2. Paste job descriptions into a word cloud generator such as Wordle to identify the most common keywords. You’ll want to include these and their synonyms in your application more often.
  3. Keywords are often ‘skills’ as per Linkedin. Typing skills into the skills search bar causes a list of related phrases to appear, which can give you other keyword ideas. Keyword research tools can also provide a similar result.
  4. Keep an eye out for specific industry phrases/jargon.
  5. Tools like Jobscan can help improve your resume. It compares your resume against the job description and gives you a “match rate %”, then also helpfully recommends some suggestions to improve your resume!
  6. Keep a list of frequent keywords so you can tailor your resume to each company more efficiently. Although each company is different, some key criteria pop up quite frequently.


On that last point, here are some keywords that are relevant for uni students looking for graduate positions/internships! {People, clients, relationships, challenges, conflict, setbacks, teams, time, awareness, respect, community, drive, integrity, different, innovation, professionally}.


The other consideration

Of course, all of this is well and important, but in our last tip we also mentioned how your application will ultimately be read by a human. Why did we specifically mention this fact?

Well, when we asked a graduate recruiter what they thought about including lots of keywords from the job description, they firmly stated: “Don’t do it!” Wait, what? But you just said… plus, many articles and reputable recruiters strongly support the use of keywords to help demonstrate a candidate’s suitability!

“There’s a difference between simply regurgitating keywords, and actually including a scenario alongside them to explain HOW you satisfy the criteria,” was the recruiter’s reply. “I don’t want to be just rereading a whole bunch of keywords I wrote myself in the job description!”

ATS Quote

So what you need to do is state the keyword skill, then use evidence to back it up, in a form like thus:

[Noun] with [skill] as demonstrated by [scenario] which [value added].



  1. Strong awareness of individual and community bonds through organising community welfare programs, co-ordinating with youth leaders, homeless individuals and other individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  2. A well-rounded team-player with strong interpersonal skills as demonstrated by participation in multiple roles in different service lines.
  3. A competent and hard-working multi-tasker responsible for filing, data entry and compilation of a concise business report regarding 200 survey responses, which assisted other teams’ formation of new projects.
  4. Competent problem-solver as shown by developing a highly-praised consulting proposal during an internship where a client sought to resolve legal issues.
  5. Built strong relationships with clients through consistently providing a wide variety of relevant, high quality proposals, leading to the clients’ redesignation of our company.
  6. Persistent and positive achiever as evident through implementing a successful marketing proposal despite multiple setbacks and deadlines.
  7. As a highly motivated and time-efficient intern, I actively sought out new tasks and ways to minimise the stress of my mentor.


Also have a look at this infographic on how to jazz up your resume with numbers! The formula we described there can be easily applied to the formula above, resulting in an awesome experience for both ATS and human recruiter!



The bottom line is, your resume needs to be ATS compatible, but no matter how ATS-friendly it is, if your resume makes no sense to a human recruiter, then it is useless. How have you optimised your application in the past? Planning on trying any of our tips? Let us know!





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