Why do you need to fill out your information again?

Job seekers have a lot to think about when applying for jobs. From spending hours searching job boards and poring over job descriptions for the right position to customizing their resumes for each application and crafting the "perfect" cover letter, professionals need to give 110 percent to land the job. With that, it can be frustrating when you upload your resume to a job board or an online application and a page pops up asking for you to fill in all the information from your resume … again. If this makes you irrationally angry, the good news is you're not alone! This image started circulating around the social media universe, leaping from Twitter to Instagram and Facebook, and people are resonating with it.

With thousands of likes and hundreds of comments from people tagging friends and stating “I was thinking the same thing,” or “this is me,” this example of one job seeker's frustrations went viral. But do you know why these job applications require that you fill out your information again?

It all comes back to a piece of software known as the applicant tracking system (ATS). Recruiters and employers use ATS software to collect, scan, and rank the job applications they receive. The ATS parses the content of each resume into categories, scanning it for specific keywords to determine if the job application should be passed along to the recruiter.

But, what does that have to do with the little boxes you're being forced to fill out?

The answer is simple: Either the ATS is unable to "read" the information in your resume due to its format or the company is taking steps to ensure all of your information is accurate before evaluating your application.

Related: Ask Amanda: How Can I Tell If My Resume Is ATS-Friendly?

Once your resume is ATS compatible, online job applications become a whole lot easier. Instead of spending hours answering seemingly-endless questions about information that's already stated in your resume, you should just need to check the fields to make sure all the information was pulled correctly by the ATS.

However, there are still some applications that require you to upload your resume and add in specific information (even though it's on your resume). There may come a day where this extra step will become obsolete, but until then, try not to get too frustrated.

Not sure if your resume is ATS compatible? Let TopResume check with a free resume review, and avoid having to fill out your information twice.

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