Getting Noticed in an Applicant Tracking System World - Work in Sports Podcast

Don't try and defeat Applicant Tracking Systems, learn how to work with them! We explain in this edition of the Work In Sports Podcast with Brian Clapp

Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning with and this is the WorkInSports podcast.

I have to tell you all, later this afternoon I am interviewing Dan Duquette for this podcast and I’m a little more than fired up. Dan Duquette was the GM of the Expos, the Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. He’s a 2-time MLB executive of the year. 

He traded for Pedro Martinez!

He signed Manny Ramirez!

He traded Heathcliff Slocumb for Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek!

As a die-hard Red Sox fan….I’m in mind-blowing don’t mess this up, mode right now. 

I usually prep about 10 questions for each interview subject… with Dan, I wrote 25 questions down in like 10 minutes. 

And for all you Orioles fans out there, your team may be terrible now, but I’d like to remind you it was he who led them to the playoffs in 2012 for the first time since 1997, and won the American League East in 2014. 

The guy is a baseball genius. He’s going to be talking about his career. But also about a new online course in Baseball Player Development that he’s launching with our friends over at Sports Management Worldwide. 

Can you tell I’m excited?

Alright,m tune into that next Wednesday -- this Wednesday is another great interview with Dennis Adamovich, the CEO of the College Football Hall of Fame. We talk a lot about leadership, event management and who he admires in the game today. 

Really fun stuff, that’s on Wednesday so tune in. 

Alright, so what is on tap for today… fan question!

Well, before we get into that...a little perspective and inspiration. I don’t appreciate cheesy sayings people put on their wall to motivate themselves. BUT,  I absolutely love when someone LIVES in a way that represents truth and perspective.

Maybe you’ve heard this story, maybe not. 

Sadio Mane, The Liverpool Star from Senegal who earns approximately 10.2 million dollars annually, was spotted by fans carrying a cracked Iphone, and somehow it became a story. People asked him why… why do you a man of great means, suffer through a cracked iPhone, oh the horror.

His response is legendary.  

"Why would I want ten Ferraris, 20 diamond watches and two jet planes? What would that do for the world? I starved, I worked in the fields, I played barefoot, and I didn't go to school. Now I can help people. I prefer to build schools and give poor people food or clothing. I have built schools [and] a stadium; we provide clothes, shoes, and food for people in extreme poverty. In addition, I give 70 euros per month to all people from a very poor Senegalese region in order to contribute to their family economy. I do not need to display luxury cars, luxury homes, trips, and even planes. I prefer that my people receive a little of what life has given me," 

I love this man.

Floyd Mayweather...are you listening? Hat tip to Alina Menuhkin for sharing this on LinkedIn earlier today. today’s question.

It is from Nick in Salisbury, Maryland. 

“Hi Brian, I’ve heard you talk tangentially about how to optimize your resume to defeat the Applicant Tracking Systems -- but I haven’t heard you specifically address how. do you do it?”

Nick, I am going to read and answer your question primarily because you used the word tangentially in it. I found that impressive. 

I think that is a fair critique, I may have mentioned the importance of defeating the Applicant Tracking systems in passing...but never got into the nuts and bolts of it all. So let’s do that!

Quick explainer on how ATS systems work.

They scan you, and if you don’t hit the mark, I never see you.

1: Apply only for jobs you are qualified for!

2: Don’t try any tricks you see on the interwebs that seem like they are bypassing your lack of qualifications. Either you are qualified for the job or not.  

3: Do not apply for multiple jobs at the same company 

4: Include the right keywords

5: Context still matters

6: Avoid fancy formatting

7: File type. .Docx  -- which is Microsoft word. There are some who argue PDF, but when I talk to ATS companies they tell me PDF’s look good but are hard for them to translate into context. 

8:  You will eventually be read by a human, so make it readable, and focus on metrics.

Listen in to this full episode to learn the tips and trick for working with Applicant Tracking Systems from 20-year sports industry veteran Brian Clapp. 

By Brian Clapp | February 24, 2020
Sign In or Register to access all articles and insider tips for help in your job search.

Search for Sports Jobs