Is there a way to "beat" the Automated Resume Tracking Systems most firms use?

SabalSabal's picture
Rank: Baboon | 158

While I use the word "beat,", its obvious that a candidate without the necessary background cannot game the ATS system. I'm just trying to find a list of to do's particularly in the context of IB in these systems in terms of

a). Could someone list some key words that they're looking for.
b). Are there any fonts or formatting (margins etc) errors that should be avoided?

For someone well versed in the process, does every major bank use ATS and does that mean that there is essentially no human involvement (beyond setting parameters) before the 1st round? Cheers!

Comments (7)

Jul 21, 2018

These things are really hard to beat which is why everyone suggests having your resume forwarded by people, the intent is to get around the system.

I have gotten past the ATS at GS/JPM/MS multiple times (caveat that JPM does automatic Hirevues which add another data point, but it's not like HR is watching all 100,000 of those) and also gotten auto dinged by it at UBS, DB, WF, boutiques... it's truthfully just random because there are so many apps.

GPA is the biggest thing in your control with these systems. School name, major, are all helpful, and obviously having a recognizable bank on your resume is good. Beyond that, bankify your bullet points as much as you can - use numbers and percentages to show performance or deal size, use IB-ish words if you did any of that type of work (valuation, comparables, etc). Don't lie about your experience but if you have any finance on your resume you should be able to spin it somehow.

Fonts/formatting errors would be typos (huge) and odd-looking margins, fonts, etc but if your resume is a standard format it become more about content. If you have an "interests" section take advantage of it, some banks give analysts resumes to screen and 3-4 unusual things stands out better than "reading, traveling, Excel"

If you don't have the GPA or any finance background, your odds with the system are not great and you have to network your way in through getting people to send your resume around. Even people with a strong GPA and prior IB experience usually have to network, it increases your chances x1000.

    • 1
Jul 21, 2018

interested in this as well. Thx for the comment. Could you please post here some IBish words? I believe it'd be helpful.


Most Helpful
Jul 21, 2018

DCF, discounted cash flow, modeling, valuation, LBO, leveraged buy out, mergers, acquisitions, M&A, financial modeling, investment, banking, comparables, precedent transactions, financial analysis, stock, S&P, etc

    • 2
Jul 21, 2018

what about due diligence, FIG, NPL, sale, etc. i am interning at a fig coverage group

Jul 21, 2018

That list wasn't all-encompassing

    • 1
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Jul 21, 2018

know that, was asking for an all-encompasing list haha cheers for that anyway

Jul 21, 2018