What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)? What’s the best way to apply for jobs online (and applying to ATS’)?

Our HR team share some advice with you on ATS’ and applying via one. (And at the bottom on the this blog, you’ll find helpful weblinks to other FREE media with tips and advice on this topic.)

“An ATS is an Applicant Tracking System [AKA: Company’s Online Candidate Application Portal]. It’s a queuing system where you put in your CV, along with other information for the job – so that the company’s Recruiters can go through them and can see everyone who’s applied for a job.

Remember, different companies have different ATS’s so they may require different information from you.

An ATS usually asks for your name, ID number, contact details, some screening questions about your qualifications and experience,  as well as for you to upload your CV. Make sure you provide the correct info’ and answer any screening questions accuratelyin a way that helps the Recruiter see what they are looking for in candidates for the job.

If you have the required experience and you answer them correctly, it’ll put you at the ‘front of the queue’.

In other words, the ATS is there to help the Recruiter see your application – if you have the right qualifications and experience for the advertised job.”


“Always make sure you’ve uploaded (or attached) your CV whenever you apply for a job, as well as make sure you’ve included your current contact details (on your CV and when registering online).

If you’re asked questions in the registration process it’s best to make sure you answer them all and answer them accurately.”


“If a company has an online application process then you need to register on it. If you don’t (and try to apply a different way, like handing your CV into reception) then it’s unlikely you’ll be considered for the job or be successful in getting an interview. [For more about online application systems, click on: Applicant Tracking Systems.]

By registering on a company’s online candidate database you help them help you, because they can quickly search for you amongst all the other candidates and they can see if you’re suitable for other future job opportunities too.

The trouble with handing in hardcopies of your CV at reception is paper might get lost. Also, many companies are trying to move away from paper archives in the office (instead to have digital archives only).

It might seem like a good idea to visit a company’s reception to hand in your CV or ask to see someone about job opportunities, but -if you don’t have an appointment- you’re unlikely to get an interview by turning up unannounced.”