iCIMS is one of the top applicant tracking systems (ATS) in the world. It is used by over 6,000 companies, including 40 percent of the Fortune 100. What does this mean for job seekers like you?

All ATS perform the same tasks, but they don’t all function exactly the same way. So knowing how iCIMS operates can impact how you apply for jobs and your overall experience as a job candidate. 

By learning about iCIMS, you can tailor your resume more effectively for organizations that use it. This will give you a substantial edge over your competition.The Jobscan team has extensively tested iCIMS and found out all the secrets job seekers need to know.Let’s do a deep dive into the iCIMs applicant tracking system and how it works.

Table of Contents

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

iCIMS is a cloud-based platform that facilitates every aspect of the hiring process. 

iCIMS helps companies:

  • Create and post job listings.
  • Find and screen potential employees.
  • Schedule and conduct interviews.
  • Manage job offers.
  • Streamline the onboarding process for new hires.

Here are some of the ways that iCIMS stands out from other ATS platforms like Lever and Greenhouse

  1. Video Interviewing  – Unlike many ATS, iCIMS has a built-in video interviewing feature. This means employers don’t need to use a separate platform for video interviews. 
  2. Smart job matching – This brand-new feature helps companies find the best candidates by creating personalized job recruitment campaigns. It does this by making sure candidates receive information that matches their interests and skills.
  3. Virtual career fair – With this tool, companies can host chat-based events. This is where recruiters and job seekers can meet and discuss job openings. It’s a cost-effective solution and can attract up to five times more candidates due to its accessibility.
  4. Advanced AI capabilities – iCIMS uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) for tasks like resume parsing and job matching. Its AI capabilities are more sophisticated than many other ATS.

How does the iCIMS ATS read your resume?

Like most applicant tracking systems, iCIMS uses a technology known as resume parsing to read and analyze your resume. When you submit your resume, the iCIMS ATS scans it and extracts information. That information includes your name, contact information, skills, work history, education, and other details.

Based on our tests, iCIMS maintains a visual version of every resume file. Whatever your resume looks like when you upload it, that’s what the recruiter sees.

iCIMS also creates a list of skills the candidate has. This list is not based on a skills list you might have on your resume. The ATS automatically generates this list based on the full text of your resume. This is important for when recruiters are searching for candidates.

Speaking of candidate searches, let’s talk about how iCIMS handles that.

How recruiters can find applicants in iCIMS

Recruiters can search through the iCIMS database to find suitable job candidates.

There are two methods of searching for candidates from the job posting page. The recruiter can either search the entire database of candidates with particular skills or keywords on their resume or they search just the candidates for one job.

For example, if a recruiter is looking for someone with business management experience, they can type “business management” in the iCIMS search bar.

If they chose to search the entire database, a list of applicants whose resumes contain that keyword will appear to the recruiter, like this:

a screenshot of the candidate search window in icims

The results might include candidates who have the words “business management” on their resume or who have that skill attached to their profile based on iCIMS’ autogenerated list.

If they chose to only search candidates for one job, they’ll see those results like this:

a screenshot of icims ats candidate filtering feature

This is why it’s crucial to sprinkle relevant keywords and skills throughout your resume, but especially to elaborate on those skills in your work experience section. If your resume doesn’t contain the keywords hiring managers are searching for, it might not be found.

The fastest and most effective way to optimize your resume with the right skills and keywords is to use a resume scanner

The scanner analyzes your resume against the job description and provides you with a “Match Report”. This report tells you what keywords you should try to include to attract the attention of a hiring manager. 

Here’s what the hard skills portion of Jobscan’s Match Report looks like:

Match Report skills

This Match Report is suggesting that the job seeker add the keywords “ms office” and “google suite” to their resume (if they have those skills).

Adding relevant skills to make your resume ATS-friendly will make it easier for hiring managers to find you when they search through the ATS for job candidates.

How recruiters can filter applicants in iCIMS

You might have noticed on that screenshot from iCIMS that there were some filters as well. Here are some filtering parameters available to recruiters in iCIMS:

Filtering options in iCIMS ATS:

  • Job titles
  • Years of experience
  • Skills
  • Source (Referral, social network, Easy Apply, etc.)
  • Role (current employee or external applicant)
  • Distance from company location
  • Application date

This means that your resume formatting is important. Your dates, job titles, and contact information should be easy to read and match what the recruiter wants.

Don’t lie on your resume. But try to match the job title, if you can. For example, if your previous company had in-house titles like Customer Service Rep I, but you’re applying for a job called Customer Service Representative, match the job title on the job listing.

To find out if your resume formatting is ATS-friendly and that your information matches the job, scan your resume into Jobscan and enter the job you’re applying for. Jobscan will check your formatting and basic information and show you what needs to be improved.

A screenshot of the searchability section of the jobscan resume match report.

Does iCIMS score your resume?

Artificial intelligence has become a key tool in many jobs. That includes recruiting and hiring.

In LinkedIn’s Future of Recruiting 2023 report, 68 percent of hirers surveyed said they were “very hopeful” or “cautiously optimistic” about the impact of generative AI on recruiting and how it can save them time.

iCIMS uses artificial intelligence to score candidates.

When viewing all of the candidates for a role, iCIMS shows a visual that illustrates the candidate’s score, called Role Fit. This information is also displayed on the candidate’s profile.

A screenshot of icims ats that shows the AI score feature

Here’s iCIMS’ documentation on how this score works:

“Candidates for the job are grouped into tiers with similarly scored candidates to help users quickly identify those with the highest ranking.”

How is ranking determined?

“A candidate’s ranking is determined on a per-job basis according to their unique experiences and qualifications for each position. A high Role Fit ranking indicates that a candidate has experiences and skills that match the requirements of the job.”

You’ll notice in that screenshot, that the candidate was also put in to Tier 1. How does that system work?

“For a specific job, the number of tiers that candidates are grouped into depends on the number of candidates for that job and the range of their Role Fit scores. As tiers are based on candidates’ relative scores and do not represent specific numerical ranges, some jobs may have more or less tiers than others.”

What can you do to get a high resume score?

Optimize your resume.

Tailor your resume for each job.

Relevance is key. Highlight the skills, experience, and education that the job description mentions.

How to write a resume for iCIMS ATS

Now that you know how iCIMS works, here’s what you need to do when writing your resume.

1. Use relevant keywords

As we’ve seen, the iCIMS ATS, like many other systems, uses keyword matching to find strong job candidates.

This means it’s vital to sprinkle relevant skills and keywords throughout your resume that are relevant to the job description. The most important places are your work experience section and education section.

2. Tailor each resume for the specific job position

Most job seekers create only one resume that they send out to every company. This one-size-fits-all strategy is the easiest way to search for a job, but it’s not nearly as effective as tailoring your resume. 

iCIMS autogenerates skills lists for each candidate based on their resume. And iCIMS’ intelligent scoring system adjusts the parameters to meet the needs of each job. That makes tailoring your resume even more important so that you rank as good fit for the role.

Tailoring each of your resumes can be time-consuming, but Jobscan’s resume scanner can speed up the process and get you more job interviews.

3. Format your resume correctly

Recruiters can use iCIMS to sort candidates by years of experience, location, and education. Make sure your information is formatted correctly so the ATS get those details right.

Here are a few fundamental principles you should always adhere to:

  • Choose a font that’s straightforward and legible.
  • Use bullet points to structure your information.
  • Make sure your name and contact details are easily found at the top.
  • Mention any significant education or certifications that you possess.
  • Diligently check for and correct any mistakes or typographical errors.

Make sure you view the Formatting section of your Match Report to see if you’ve made any formatting mistakes that can cause problems when an ATS parses your resume. 

The formatting section of Jobscan's Match Report.

To avoid formatting mistakes, try using one of our free ATS resume templates.

4. Don’t rely on your resume only

While resumes are still the foundation of any job application, there are other ways to impress hiring managers these days. This includes social media and video.

Every iCIMS candidate profile also shows their LinkedIn profile, if they have one.

Creating a professional LinkedIn profile and optimizing it for the jobs you’re looking for can set you apart from the competition.

5. Apply for jobs you’re a good fit for

Artificial intelligence is, well, intelligent. ATS are getting better at saving recruiters time by automatically surfacing well-qualified candidates who are good fit for the role. Focus on jobs that play to your strengths and make use of the experience you have.

Focus on jobs you’re a good match for.

When you scan your resume into Jobscan, you’re given a Match Rate. Most job seekers have a low Match Rate to start out. That’s normal. But if you’ve optimized your resume as best as you can based on your experience and your Match Rate is still low, then it’s best to find a job you’re a better fit for. (We suggest aiming for a Match Rate of 75 percent.)

screenshots of various jobscan match rates

Get additional iCIMS ATS tips

Many ATS share similar features, but every system has its own quirks. That’s why Jobscan has an “ATS Tips” feature. This feature provides you with specialized tips on how to tailor your resume based on the specific ATS the company uses.

You can access this feature at the top of the Match Report. For example, here are specific tips you would see if the company you’re applying to uses iCIMS:

This is a screenshot of the ATS Tips section in Jobscan's Match Report.


What is an applicant tracking system?

What is an ATS? It’s a computer program that helps companies find the right people for a job. When people apply for a job, they send in a resume. The ATS collects all these resumes and puts them in order. It looks for certain words and details to find the best matches for the job. This makes it easier and faster for the company to find the right person to hire. Our research shows that 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS.

How do applicant tracking systems work?

When people send in their resumes, the ATS collects them and adds them to a central database. It then looks at the resumes and searches for certain words and skills that match what the job needs. This helps the people who are hiring to quickly find the best candidates for the job, making the whole process faster and easier. This is also why you need to convert your resume to an ATS-friendly format.

When is an ATS used in the hiring process?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is used throughout the entire hiring process. It begins with the posting of a job vacancy and continues through collecting and sorting applications, screening resumes, scheduling interviews, and even extending job offers.

Who uses iCIMS?

Some of the notable organizations that use iCIMS for their recruitment needs include Canon, IBM, Microsoft, Rite Aid, Foot Locker, Dignity Health, Dollar General, Peet’s Coffee, Sysco, UPS, American Heart Association, PetSmart, 7-Eleven, Uber, Sally Beauty, and Target.

Who needs an ATS?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is needed by organizations of all sizes and across various industries that are looking to streamline and optimize their recruitment process. This includes small businesses, mid-sized companies, large enterprises, staffing agencies, and even individual recruiters.

Where does an applicant tracking system fit into the recruiting process?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) starts with the creation and distribution of job postings to job boards and social media platforms. Once applications are received, the ATS organizes and screens them, filtering candidates based on specific criteria such as keywords and qualifications. It then assists in scheduling interviews, managing communication with candidates, and even extending job offers.

What is iCIMS used for?

iCIMS is a leading applicant tracking system (ATS) used to manage and streamline the recruitment process. It assists organizations in creating and posting job vacancies, collecting and organizing applications, screening resumes, and ranking candidates based on specific criteria.

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Sydney Myers

Content Marketing Manager at Jobscan.

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