Since its launch in 2012, Greenhouse has grown to become a major player in the applicant tracking systems (ATS) market.

Why is Greenhouse ATS so popular? Because it does a great job of streamlining the recruitment process. It also provides hiring managers with detailed data that help them hire the right people for their organizations. 

Companies that use Greenhouse ATS

Here are just a few of the 7,500 companies and organizations around the world that now use Greenhouse. 

  • Airbnb
  • DoorDash
  • DocuSign
  • Cisco
  • Dropbox
  • Evernote
  • Foursquare
  • Instacart
  • Hubspot
  • NerdWallet
  • Stripe
  • Snapchat
  • Lyft
  • Oscar Health
  • Pinterest
  • Squarespace
  • Wayfair
  • Slack
  • Vimeo
  • Warby Parker
  • Betterment
  • TripAdvisor
  • GoDaddy
  • Motor Trend Group

Clearly, Greenhouse is popular with a lot of big, well-known companies. But why should you, as a job seeker, care about how Greenhouse works? 

Because it can have an impact on your job application process and overall candidate experience. 

The more you know about Greenhouse, the better you’ll be able to optimize your resume for companies that use it. This will give you a significant advantage over other job applicants.

With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look at the Greenhouse applicant tracking system and how it works.

What is Greenhouse and how is it different from other ATS?

Greenhouse is a cloud-based software that helps companies manage their recruitment processes. It does this by organizing and tracking job applications, resumes, and candidate information.

The platform is easy-to-use, customizable, and scalable. This makes it suitable for both small and large businesses in a wide range of industries.

Now let’s take a look at four ways that Greenhouse is different from other applicant tracking systems.

1. Customizable hiring workflows

With Greenhouse, employers can customize their hiring workflows to fit their specific needs. This level of flexibility is not always possible with other ATS

Because employers can customize their application process, you should always pay close attention to the instructions when submitting your resume. 

2. Seamless integration with other tools and systems

Greenhouse has a large and robust ecosystem of pre-built integrations (over 450, which is more than any other ATS). 

Greenhouse can also post jobs to over 1,000 job boards! You’ve probably already applied through Greenhouse whether you were aware of it or not. 

3. Improved candidate experience

Don’t you hate it when a company makes you fill out application forms with the same information that’s already listed on your resume? 

Greenhouse doesn’t do this. Any forms you have to fill out can be completed in 30 seconds! 

Greenhouse also provides you with timely feedback and updates on your job application.

4. Focus on diversity and inclusiveness

Greenhouse helps employers create more diverse and inclusive teams. It does this by offering DEI reporting and unbiased job description tools that help identify and eliminate hiring biases.

How does Greenhouse ATS read your resume?

When you submit your resume to most applicant tracking systems, the first thing they do is parse it.

Parsing is when an ATS algorithm analyzes the structure and content of your resume. It then extracts relevant information, such as skills, education, and work experience.

This extracted data is stored in a database. Hiring managers can then search, filter, and sort candidates in the database.

Greenhouse does NOT parse resumes like this!

Why? Because ATS parsing algorithms can’t read every resume format, template, or creative design choice. So a lot of resumes are parsed incorrectly

As a result, highly qualified candidates tend to slip through the cracks. 

With Greenhouse, hiring managers don’t work with parsed data. Instead, they see your resume exactly as you have submitted it. 

In other words, they’ll see a full image of your resume that they can scan with their own eyes.

Resume on Greenhouse ATS.

How does Greenhouse ATS score your resume?

Most ATS generate a score or ranking based on the data that’s been parsed from your resume. 

The ATS comes up with this score by comparing the parsed data to the job requirements. The score is based on how well they match.

Greenhouse does NOT score resumes like this!

Why? Because a score may not capture all relevant qualifications or factors that could be important in the hiring decision.

“Everyone’s resume is wildly different in what they write and how they write it,” says Daniel Chait, CEO and Co-founder of Greenhouse. 

“Any kind of automated scoring system of a document like that is subject to the biases of the people who are building the algorithm and the data that’s used to train that algorithm or that scoring system.”

Chait believes that any kind of scoring is “a task better left to the hiring managers and the teams looking for the people.”

How does Greenhouse score job candidates?

Greenhouse does score candidates, but as Daniel Chait indicates, human beings do the scoring, not an algorithm. It works like this:

Greenhouse provides its users with a “scorecard” template. When hiring managers post a new job, they fill in this template by creating a list of skills and qualifications that the ideal candidate should possess.

The hiring manager then reviews a candidate’s application and assigns a score. This score is based on each competency or skill listed in the scorecard template. 

The scores for each competency are then aggregated into an overall score for the candidate. 

One of the benefits of doing it this way is that multiple people in the company can score candidates independently. This provides a more objective evaluation as opposed to a single score generated by an ATS.

Scorecard on Greenhouse ATS.

You can actually get a good idea of how your application will score before you apply for a specific job. How?

By using Jobscan’s resume scanner. This tool uses AI technology to analyze your resume and compare it to the job listing you want to apply for. 

If your resume scores highly with Jobscan, it’s much more likely to impress the hiring managers who use Greenhouse, or any ATS for that matter. 

Jobscan can also highlight the skills you should talk about in your job interview, which will help your overall resume score. Try the resume scanner for free here!

Keywords are still important!

Greenhouse doesn’t parse resumes and score candidates like other ATS. But it still allows hiring managers to search for candidates using keywords.

These keywords can be related to job titles, skills, experience, education, or other qualifications. 

Greenhouse also offers advanced search filters based on more specific criteria. These include things like location, salary expectations, and work authorization.

Let’s say a hiring manager wanted to find someone who worked at Xerox or that knows Python. They could simply type those keywords into the search bar. Greenhouse would then return resumes that match those queries.

How do you know which keywords to include on your ATS resume?

Read the job description! This is where you’ll find all the skills, qualifications, and work experience required for the job. Analyzing the job description will help you write an effective resume.

5 tips & tricks for creating an effective resume for Greenhouse ATS

Now that you know how Greenhouse works, what can you do to optimize your resume for this particular ATS?

1. Create a resume for humans, not computers

Remember, Greenhouse shows recruiters your resume exactly as you submitted it. This means your resume should be visually appealing, well-organized, and easy to read. (Both humans and ATS will like this!).

“It’s not about optimizing for a computer algorithm,” says Greenhouse CEO Daniel Chait. “It’s about optimizing for the person who’s going to look at the resume and deciding if they’re going to invest their time in meeting with you.”

2. Include keywords from the job description

Hiring managers using Greenhouse still might search for resumes with relevant keywords. So try to include as many keywords and skills from the job description as possible!

Pay particular attention to keyword frequency

Let’s say a recruiter searches for “customer service”. An applicant with five mentions of that skill in their resume will appear higher in the results than someone with only two mentions.

Jobscan’s resume scanner makes it easy to optimize your resume keywords for frequency. It does this by showing a side-by-side comparison of the keywords in your resume and the job description.

A match report with resume score and recommended hard skills.

3. Think about what’s on the scorecard

Even though Greenhouse ATS doesn’t score your application, human reviewers do.

To score highly, read the job description carefully. What are the most important skills, qualifications, education, and work experience that you find there?

Don’t ignore any personal attributes or soft skills that appear in the description! These are increasingly important in today’s job market. 

Examples of soft skills include time management, leadership, problem-solving, adaptability, attention to detail, interpersonal skills, etc…

These skills are especially important because they’re transferable, which means they can be used in any job across all industries. 

4. Tailor each resume for the specific job position

Too many job seekers create only one resume that they send out with all their applications. Yes, it’s much easier to do it this way but….

It’s a mistake!

Think about it: Greenhouse creates a unique scorecard for every job opening. 

Your one-size-fits-all resume isn’t going to score as highly as a resume tailored specifically for that job, is it?

Plus, if your resume doesn’t include the right keywords, hiring managers won’t find it when they search through the Greenhouse database.

5. Do the easy stuff right

There are some basic things you should always do when writing your resume – whether for Greenhouse or any other ATS:

  • Use a clear and readable font.
  • Keep the formatting simple and consistent.
  • Use bullet points to organize information and make it easy to read.
  • Include your name and contact information prominently at the top.
  • Highlight your relevant skills and experience.
  • Use strong action verbs to describe your achievements.
  • Include any relevant education or certifications.
  • Be concise and avoid lengthy paragraphs.
  • Proofread carefully for errors and typos.

As Greenhouse CEO Daniel Chait says, “The hallmarks of a good resume are, first of all, to do the easy stuff right…if you’re not going to do the easy stuff right, people aren’t going to trust you to do the hard stuff right.”

Read more: You Need to Avoid These ATS Resume Formatting Mistakes

Get additional Greenhouse ATS tips

Jobscan’s resume scanner can automatically detect which ATS the company you’re applying to uses. Most companies do, including 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Get more Greenhouse-specific tips by using Jobscan’s “ATS Tip” feature. Learn more by watching the one-minute video below:

Read more: iCIMS ATS: What Job Seekers Need to Know

Read more: Lever ATS: What Every Job Seeker Should Know

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Robert Henderson, CPRW, Resume Expert

Robert Henderson, CPRW, is a career advice writer and a resume expert at Jobscan.

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