Should you try to beat the ATS, or network?

August 24, 2023

If you’re job searching right now, you might feel overwhelmed by all the information out there today!

Some of it feels really conflicting! 😩

To land a new role, in mid-career….

Should you focus on beating the ATS or put all your efforts into networking, to gain access to the best opportunities?

Let’s compare both.

“Beating the ATS”

I would never recommend that you focus solely on “beating the ATS”.

That can be a depressing endeavour with only 2-4% of applications on average resulting in job interviews!

The reality is that beating the ATS alone is not typically your quickest path to getting hired for a fulfilling job you love.

It’s flawed and designed to filter out resumes before they reach human eyes.

And with 75% of resumes never seen by recruiters, how can you ensure yours stands out?

What I recommend is making your resume “ATS Friendly”, here’s how:

1- Use the right keywords:

Tailor your resume for your target role, use job descriptions as a guide.

Use the words and phrases they use, in your resume.

Leverage AI to help you with this.

2- Formatting

Keep it simple with standard fonts and bullet points rather than lengthy paragraphs.

Steer clear of images or unusual layouts.

3- Qualifications:

Be honest but strategic.

If you meet a qualification, ensure it’s clear and prominent.

If you’re lacking, consider how other experiences might be transferable.


While this strategy is not most people’s favourites, it’s a crucial one.

Over 70% of jobs get filled via networking.

All networking is, is connecting with humans. When you think of it this way, it makes it a little bit easier.

You can:

1- Reach Out:

Don’t be shy about contacting past colleagues, bosses, or acquaintances. They might have the perfect lead or simply offer valuable advice.

2- Attend events & workshops:

Join professional organizations, attend webinars or workshops. Broaden your skills and professional circle.

3- Join and participate in online platforms.

LinkedIn is king here. Post, engage with posts, share your expertise, and foster genuine connections.

The Verdict? 👀

It’s not a matter of choosing between beating the ATS or networking.

In today’s competitive environment, you need a blend of both to get hired quickly.

Stay tuned for my upcoming training in September.

I’ll share how to leverage both.

And I’ll also cover how to avoid the biggest mistakes I see people make with their search.

Details coming soon! 🔜

Are you ready to get out of your comfort zone and gain a competitive edge to create your next career opportunity?

Let’s connect so we can help you:

🔥 Explore what’s possible for your next chapter

🔥 Leverage LinkedIn to access the hidden job market

🔥 Nail your next interview with confidence

🔥 Become the next “must hire” candidate