How AI Empowers Job Seekers in the Age of Application Tracking Systems

The introduction of application tracking systems (ATS), particularly by larger companies, has disadvantaged some job applicants because the systems automatically accept or reject CVs based on specific keywords–the advent of AI may be able to change that.

ATS is efficient for helping where employers are inundated with CVs, but also often results in unfair outcomes. However, AIs like ChatGPT are about to change the game. 

AI can empower job seekers by effectively incorporating keywords from job descriptions into their CVs and cover letters, thereby bypassing the limitations imposed by keyword scanning technology. 

Consider this: AI can now generate your cover letter with the necessary keywords. You’re good to go with just a few tweaks, saving valuable time in the job-hunting process. However, it’s important to note that AI isn’t about gaming the system; it’s using technology to level the playing field.

It is important to note that AI still requires thoughtful prompts and instructions to produce quality output. 

Scanning technology is known to inadvertently prevents some exceptional candidates from getting interviewed. At M2M, while we make limited use of ATS technology, we recently placed a candidate who received a suitability score below 50% from ATS. Nonetheless, she turned out to be the perfect fit for the role. 

Fortunately, we take the time to read CVs thoroughly. We’re always on the lookout for what we call “hidden gems”—candidates who may not shine as brightly initially, but with a bit of polish, they can outshine the best.

This particular candidate was a prime example. Although she needed the right keywords to catch ATS’s attention, her qualifications and potential were undeniable. 

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that many job seekers cut and paste their cover letters, which falls short of what’s required. Now, with the help of AI, job seekers can effortlessly create tailored cover letters, expedite their job search, and navigate ATS technology strategically. 

To leverage AI effectively and gain a competitive advantage in the job market, here are three crucial tips: 

1. Learn how AI works:

Understanding how to harness the power of AI is vital to gaining an edge in the job hunt. Using the right prompts, you can streamline the application process, respond promptly, and stay ahead of the competition. 

2. Be relevant:

While ATS focuses on finding a “right fit” based on keywords, it often fails to capture the value a candidate can bring to a business. AI becomes a valuable tool to highlight your personal brand relevance, but it’s essential to have a well-defined personal brand to input in the first place. 


3. Embrace the human element:

While AI offers remarkable advantages, job seekers should recognise the human element in recruitment. Uncovering and grasping nuances that technology may miss requires human intuition and understanding. Remember, your inputs determine the quality of your applications. 


To remain relevant in today’s job market, job seekers must learn to leverage AI effectively, trust their instincts, and combine them with their unique qualities and experiences.