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What's an ATS? Things you need to know

March 5, 2024


In the ever-evolving landscape of job hunting, navigating the recruitment process can feel like deciphering a complex code. One crucial element that often remains shrouded in mystery is the role of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). For job seekers, understanding how ATS work is no longer a mere advantage, but a fundamental necessity to increase your chances of landing your dream job.

Unveiling the mystery of ATS:

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software program specifically designed to streamline and automate the recruitment process for companies. It acts as a central hub, managing everything from receiving applications and resumes to screening candidates, scheduling interviews, and tracking their progress through the various stages of the hiring process.

Why You Need to Know About ATS:

The widespread adoption of ATS means that most companies, irrespective of size or industry, rely on them to manage their recruitment efforts. As a job seeker, understanding how ATS function is crucial for several reasons:

  • Enhanced Visibility: By tailoring your resume and application to accommodate the specific requirements of ATS, you significantly increase your chances of making it past the initial screening stage and reaching the human eye of a recruiter or hiring manager. This, in turn, amplifies your visibility and ensures your application receives proper consideration.
  • Improved Efficiency: ATS are equipped with sophisticated capabilities to scan through hundreds, even thousands, of applications based on predetermined keywords and criteria extracted from the job description. By understanding how ATS works, you can strategically craft your application to align with these filters, ensuring that your valuable skills and experience are accurately represented and considered during the initial screening stage.
  • Competitive Advantage: Possessing knowledge of ATS empowers you to strategically craft your resume and cover letter to stand out from a sea of other applicants. This can give you a significant edge in the highly competitive job market, increasing your chances of progressing further in the recruitment process.

The Inner Workings of ATS in Recruitment:

The role of an ATS within the recruitment process can be dissected into several key functionalities:

  • Job Posting and Application Management: Companies can effortlessly post job openings, receive applications electronically, and track their status efficiently through the ATS platform.
  • Automated Screening: Leveraging advanced algorithms, ATS can meticulously scan resumes and cover letters, searching for specific keywords and criteria meticulously derived from the job description. This automated screening process helps identify candidates who possess the minimum qualifications and competencies required for the position.
  • Ranking and Shortlisting: Based on the results of the ATS screening, candidates are ranked and shortlisted for further consideration by recruiters or hiring managers. This allows them to focus their time and resources on carefully reviewing the applications of the most promising candidates.
  • Communication and Tracking: The system facilitates automated communication with candidates. This can include sending application confirmations, interview invitations, or updates on their application status throughout the hiring process. Additionally, the ATS tracks every individual candidate's progress through the various stages of the recruitment pipeline.

Benefits of Employing ATS for Companies:

Permanent Recruitment, Manpower Consultancy, Bulk Recruitment Services |  Altum

While ATS primarily benefit job seekers by increasing their visibility and enhancing their chances of getting noticed, companies also reap several advantages from utilizing these systems:

  • Boosted Efficiency: ATS drastically reduce the burden on recruiters and hiring managers by automating repetitive tasks such as screening applications. This frees up their valuable time, allowing them to focus on more strategic aspects of the recruitment process, such as conducting detailed interviews and thoroughly evaluating candidates.
  • Elevated Candidate Quality: By filtering applications based on specific, predetermined criteria, ATS ensure that only the most qualified candidates, who closely align with the requirements of the position, reach the interview stage. This not only saves time and resources but also leads to better hiring decisions overall.
  • Standardized Process: The utilization of ATS helps maintain a consistent and objective hiring process for all candidates, minimizing the potential for bias or discrimination based on irrelevant factors. This ensures fairness and transparency throughout the entire recruitment journey.

Optimizing Your Application for ATS Success:

Understanding how ATS work is just the initial step to a successful job search. Here are some additional, practical tips to optimize your application for successful screening by ATS:

  • Keyword Mastery: Meticulously analyze the job description and strategically integrate relevant keywords throughout your resume and cover letter. This helps your application resonate with the ATS and significantly increases the chances of it being recognized and shortlisted for further consideration.
  • Quantify Your Achievements: Go beyond simply listing your responsibilities and past experiences. Instead, leverage data and metrics to quantify your accomplishments and demonstrate the tangible impact you've made in previous roles. This not only showcases your skills but also provides recruiters and hiring managers with a clearer understanding of your value and contributions.
  • Clarity reigns supreme: Opt for a clean and well-organized layout for your resume and cover letter. Avoid heavy formatting elements or complex fonts, as these can be difficult for ATS to interpret accurately.
  • Avoid Fancy Formatting: While creative formatting and visual elements might enhance the aesthetics of your resume for human reviewers,  avoid them in your ATS-optimized version. ATS often struggle to process elements like tables, charts, or images accurately, and these elements can disrupt the flow of information, hindering your application's progress.
Worker by Pudge on Dribbble
  • Proofreading is Paramount: Typos and grammatical errors can act as red flags for ATS, potentially leading to your application getting rejected during the initial screening stage. Take the time to meticulously proofread your resume and cover letter for any errors to ensure a professional and polished presentation.
  • Tailor, Tailor, Tailor: Don't simply submit a generic resume for every job application. Instead, tailor your resume and cover letter to specifically address the requirements and keywords mentioned in each individual job description. This demonstrates your genuine interest in the specific position and increases your chances of resonating with both the ATS and the human reviewers.
  • Leverage Action Verbs: Action verbs play a crucial role in showcasing your skills and experience effectively. Utilize strong action verbs throughout your resume and cover letter to clearly describe your accomplishments and contributions in previous roles. Examples include "implemented," "developed," "managed," "increased," and "spearheaded."
  • Embrace ATS-friendly Platforms: Consider utilizing online platforms specifically designed to create ATS-friendly resumes. These platforms offer pre-built templates and features that ensure your resume adheres to the formatting and keyword requirements preferred by ATS.

Beyond the Basics:

While the tips mentioned above provide a solid foundation for optimizing your application for ATS, there's always more to learn and explore. Here are some additional strategies you can consider:

  • Utilize a skills section: Many ATS offer the option to include a dedicated skills section. This allows you to list relevant skills and keywords in a clear and structured manner, making them easily identifiable for the ATS software.
  • Target specific job boards: Certain online job boards are known to cater to companies utilizing specific ATS platforms. Research which job boards are popular within your target industry and tailor your application strategy accordingly.
  • Stay updated: The landscape of ATS is constantly evolving. Regularly seek out and stay updated on the latest trends and best practices regarding ATS optimization to ensure your application remains competitive and effective.


In today's competitive job market...

Gifs/README.md at master · rudrabarad/Gifs · GitHub
a comprehensive understanding of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) has become an indispensable asset for job seekers. By leveraging the knowledge and strategies outlined in this guide, you can significantly enhance your chances of getting noticed by recruiters and landing your dream job. Remember, knowledge empowers action, and strategically optimizing your application for ATS success can be the key that unlocks the door to a fulfilling career path.

Amidst today’s noisy digital world, brands find it challenging to create meaningful connections with their customer base and target audience. Getting the target consumer’s attention and persuading them to buy from you gets even trickier. Hence, content marketing has become more crucial than ever for brands to attract, educate, and retain customers.

Content creation is a top priority for 80% of marketers, and there is no reason it shouldn’t be. Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts your audience’s decisions through education and persuasion.

Depending on your business goals and requirements, the role of Content Marketers you hire will vary. The primary responsibilities revolve around forming consistent brand messaging and deciding upon a unique and identifiable voice, style, and pitch across various distribution channels.

From raising brand awareness to attracting a relevant audience to your website, boosting social media presence and engagement, generating leads, and building brand loyalty – content marketing drives all the growth efforts for your brand. When done effectively, it can help you:

  • Build positive brand awareness
  • Make your audience stick around for longer
  • Get better traction on social media
  • Gain more trust of your audience than ever
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Boost business visibility with SEO
  • Position your brand as an authority
  • Cultivate loyal brand fans

While content marketing is a broad role with numerous areas of expertise involved, it’s vital to thoroughly understand your company’s current marketing goals and the related requirements. In this blog, we will dive deep into the step-by-step approach to hiring a Content Marketer.

What is The Role of a Content Marketer?

A Content Marketer must be deeply passionate about telling your brand’s story to the world. The objective is to educate and nurture the target audience to establish brand authority using thought-leadership and drive more people to buy from you.

As a candidate is expected to be a mediator between the brand and the target audience, they are primarily responsible for planning, creating, and sharing valuable content to grow their company’s awareness and engagement to bring more business.

To be more specific, the role of a Content Marketer requires a perfect blend of creativity and attention to detail in an individual. It’s a balancing role, as they need to ensure creating content that resonates and strengthens business relationships, using strategies that position your business as authentic and problem-solving.

Take a look at the core responsibilities of a Content Marketer that most businesses expect them to take over:

  • Research and Competitor Analysis: The first and foremost step to creating a content marketing strategy is effective initial research. It not only helps a Content Marketer understand the nuances of the industry through competitor analysis but also study and understand the target audience thoroughly.
  • Building Content Marketing Plans: Once the competitor research and target audience analysis is done, a Content Marketer needs to work on the different plans for all the business objectives, targeted channels, segments of the audience, and the bigger marketing strategy. A content marketing plan typically consists of:
  • Specific goals along with a pre-decided timeline
  • Various channels to be targeted for content distribution
  • Types of content to be created
  • Budget for the entire staff, outsourced services, and paid promotion (Collabs and Ads)
  • Creating Editorial Calendar: Creating, managing, and maintaining a content calendar is one of the most crucial responsibilities of a Content Marketer. It is a centralized visual document that enables effective collaboration among the marketing team and helps Content Marketers ensure on-time production and delivery.
  • Content Creation: Once the strategy and calendar have been approved by relevant stakeholders, Content Marketers need to do the on-ground work. This task usually depends on the scale of your company and content marketing strategy. Suppose an organization already has a set of writers, then the Content Marketer doesn’t need to create content by themselves.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Producing quality content that educates your target audience and resonates with them, isn’t enough. You need to optimize your content creation to make it search engine-friendly. While most companies need a dedicated SEO specialist for keyword research and planning, Content Marketers need to closely collaborate with them and should be well-versed in the basics of SEO.

While the practices discussed above are primary responsibilities of a Content Marketer, they also need to be proactive with

  • Content editing and ensuring adherence to a certain style guide    
  • Continous publishing and distributing content
  • Measuring and analyzing performance

How to Hire a Content Marketer: Step-By-Step?

Content marketing has become the key to driving growth for businesses. Unlike a few years ago, it’s not possible now to get away with a one-person team for content marketing. You need deeply trained individuals for specialist roles.

Let’s now dive into the step-by-step approach of hiring a Content Marketer. But before you even source your first candidate, you should have a clear expectation of the skillset and experience to look out for top content marketing candidates.

Top Must-Have Skills in a Content Marketer

Apart from having relevant industry experience, a good Content Marketer must possess the following skills.

  1. Excellent Writing Skills

A Content Marketer’s prior skillset should be writing excellent attention-grabbing content. From long-form blog posts to website copy, ad copies, social media content, video scripts, emails, newsletters, e-books, whitepapers, and more – a Content Marketer should be able to adapt to the business’s specific requirements and create quality content.

  1. Audience Research

Identifying user behavior is vital for framing the story in the right direction. So a Content Marketer must know how to identify and analyze the needs and pain points to develop a buyer persona. User research can be performed through social listening, relevant communities, in-person calls with customers, analyzing sales call recordings, and more.

  1. Keyword Research

Creating valuable thought-leadership content isn’t enough. Researching the right set of keywords is an essential skill to further educate your target audience on the Whys, Hows and Whats of your business, and have your website rank on Google.

  1. Data-oriented Content

Content that’s not backed by relevant data points does not build enough trust. Experienced content marketing professionals would always prefer data over hollow claims. No doubt that only data doesn’t help a content piece succeed, but it’s essential..

  1. Project Management, Planning, and Publishing –

A Content Marketer is also expected to break down and analyze the pain points to turn keyword research into content ideas. So a professional must be able to identify and solve content gaps.

Further, they must know how to create a content calendar, decide the different types of content, and choose relevant platforms to publish and schedule marketing campaigns.

  1. Content Promotion

Creating a valuable content piece, for example - an ebook, isn’t enough. Your content marketing team needs to promote it proactively for bringing enough attention and engagement.

  1. Performance Analysis

Setting up goals and plans is one thing, but continuously executing, measuring, and analyzing content performance is another. A Content Marketer should always be monitoring key performance parameters to figure out the upcoming plans with the necessary updates required.

Not to forget - stakeholders and marketing heads need the performance reports regularly. So Content Marketers must be able to collect and comprehend all the data to make it worth presenting.

Step 1: Create a Candidate Persona

Let’s sort out the priorities first, and decide the type of content marketing candidates you want to recruit. From exceptional research skills to storytelling, communication skills, relationship building, audience engagement, and more capabilities must be comprehensively considered. Identify and break down the skill requirements for Content Marketers:

  • What are the educational qualification criteria for the role?
  • How many years and what type of work experience do you want in candidates?
  • What are the specific skill sets you’re looking for?
  • Which industry experience would you primarily prefer?
  • Are there any tools your candidates should be hands-on with?
  • What are some personality traits that will fit your company?
  • Where do they look for a new job?
  • What are their career and life goals?

Forming a candidate persona by answering all these questions would ensure you are not shooting in the dark while sourcing candidates. Further, it helps you determine the traits of the ideal candidate, and plan your sourcing and recruitment strategy further.

Step 2: Document the Role Requirements and Decide on Your Recruiting Process

Next step is determining your role requirements suiting primarily to organizational needs and business goals. A content marketing professional is expected to own the entire content strategy, creation, and distribution. But what about your business’s unique requirements?

You might need someone comfortable with frequently creating long-form content pieces like blogs, ebooks, or whitepapers, or creating engaging video content based on your industry trends.

Talk to various relevant stakeholders for seeking the complete detailed company requirements for the role.

Before you enter the recruitment funnel, outline your talent acquisition process. Identify various strategies, channels, and other informational insights you would need – and maintain a collaborative document.

As you update the tactics and tweak your recruitment process for meeting hiring requirements optimally – keep your document up to date.

Step 3: Prepare a Content Marketing Job Description

Once you have finalized the role requirements with respect to your current content marketing goals and team, you can start sourcing candidates. Preparing the job description is the first task you’ll need to do.

Here are the necessary components you must have in your job description:

  • Job Title: The position you’re looking to fill. For example - Content Marketing Specialist or Content Marketing Manager.
  • Roles & Responsibilities: An outline of the candidate’s day-to-day activities. From ideation to implementation and the impact on the organization, everything should be covered.  
  • Skill Requirements: Skills and abilities a candidate must have to perform the job successfully.
  • Perks and Benefits: The compensation details, perks of the job, and any other benefits.
  • About the Company: Why should a candidate consider working with your company?

Content Marketer Job Description Template


The job of a Content Marketer is to perform competitor research, create user persona, and write plagiarism-free content for blog articles, social media, and the company website. They need to stay updated on the latest SEO techniques.


  • Develop, write and deliver persuasive copy for the website, email marketing campaigns, sales collateral, videos, and blogs
  • Build and manage an editorial calendar; coordinate with other content crafters to ensure standards
  • Measure impact and perform analysis to improve KPIs
  • Include and optimize all content for SEO
  • Contribute to the localization of processes and content to ensure consistency across regions
  • Review and implement process changes to drive operational excellence


  • Proven content marketing, copywriting, or SEO experience
  • Working knowledge of content management systems like WordPress
  • A well-maintained portfolio of published articles, blogs, copy, etc
  • Proven experience of working under pressure to deliver high quality output in a short span of time
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office applications, Google Suite
  • Fluency in English or any other required language

Soft Skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • The ability to handle multiple projects concurrently
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to multi-task projects and deliverables

Step 4: Source Candidates

Once you have the tailored job description in hand, it’s now time to do the groundwork and source candidates. Create an attractive job post to promote your job across job boards and social channels.

  • Begin with what to expect from the role at your company?
  • Why should candidates apply for the position?
  • Highlight the growth opportunities
  • State the company vision and mission
  • Briefly describe the recruitment process

Prepare an impactful job post and also execute paid job ad campaigns if required. The next step would be promoting your jobs on various job boards and hiring platforms. You can leverage the following platforms for hiring Content Marketers:

  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Instahyre
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Monster
  • GlassDoor
  • CareerBuilder

Not to forget - almost 3/4th of the workforce includes passive candidates, so you cannot miss out on passive talent sourcing as well. Reach out to qualified candidates on communities, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook to offer them suitable opportunities.

Step 5: Evaluate Candidates and Interview Shortlisted Ones

Once you have filtered candidates based on their experience and skills listed on their profile, it’s time to evaluate them deeply. Ask them to create a content strategy for your website, along with a value-adding content piece like a small blog. The topic of the article must fall within the scope of the strategy.

Interview the candidates whose profiles got shortlisted. Keep in mind the parameters covering skills, relevant experience, and personality traits of candidates.

Step 5: Make the Hire

Reach out to selected Content Marketers and communicate about the compensation.

Further, extend your offer letter to all the candidates who have been selected. In the case of passive sourcing, extend to only those who were aligned with you on the compensation and are willing to move forward.

Ensure having a deadline for the joining date and mention the necessary documents required by your recruiting team.

  • Get the required documents and set up the offer agreements with candidates
  • Organize an orientation session for the onboarded candidates
  • Introduce them to the entire team and the marketing teams they will be working with
  • Guide the new candidates about your company management tools and communication channels
  • Provide candidates with forms for benefits and perks like Health Insurance.

Supercharge Your Hiring for Content Marketer with Nurturebox

Inbound candidate sourcing doesn’t work effectively anymore. Do you also find challenges in closing quality candidates through job posts even after spending on ads?

Don’t worry, passive candidate sourcing can be an optimal solution for hiring top content marketing candidates.

Nurturebox is a one-stop talent sourcing and engagement platform which is powered by automation. Here’s how you can source product managers from LinkedIn using Nurturebox:

  • Install the Nurturebox Chrome plugin and sign up.
  • On your LinkedIn profile, start sourcing Content Marketers with boolean searches stating the required experience from targeted locations and including other criteria
  • Add the qualified candidates to your sourcing campaign pipeline with just a click
  • Automate the candidate engagement through email, Whatsapp and LinkedIn direct messages for reaching out and nurturing candidates at scale.

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