Most organizations use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to support their recruiting and hiring efforts. An ATS helps employers filter out unqualified candidates, saving them time and resources. However, an ATS can also weed out qualified candidates whose resume isn’t ATS-friendly enough to get past the bots. In such cases, the resume never reaches the eyes of a human reader. Which is why it’s important to ensure you have an ATS-friendly resume.
An ATS-friendly resume is a resume that is optimized to pass through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) without any errors. ATS is a software application that is commonly used by employers to manage job applications and screen candidates. The ATS scans the resume to identify keywords and qualifications relevant to the job, and then ranks and sorts the resumes based on their relevance. An ATS-friendly resume is designed to ensure that it can pass through the ATS successfully and improve the chances of being selected for an interview.
An ATS-friendly resume allows you to get past the ATS. In short, that means your resume has the right words related to the job post to show you meet the minimum qualifications for the position, earning you a spot in the next round of reviews beyond the bots.
There are several variables to consider to ensure your resume is ATS-friendly. Here are some tips to help you get started, followed by an ATS-friendly resume template.
You can choose from a functional, chronological, or blended format for your resume. However, to be the most compatible with ATS systems, go for the chronological format, listing your work experience from most recent to oldest.
You don’t want to confuse an ATS by using unfamiliar section headings.
One of the best ways to optimize your resume and grab the positive attention of an ATS is to use job-specific keywords—especially those found in the job description. Read the job post and be sure to include all your relevant skills and competencies throughout your resume.
You want to incorporate both the hard and soft skills required for the job. For example, if you’re applying for a communications manager position, you might include keywords such as:
Ensure you have no typos or grammatical errors. Misspelled words might confuse the ATS and not get picked up as relevant. And even if you do pass the ATS, recruiters or hiring managers are likely to send a typo-riddled resume straight to the trash bin.
Pro Tip: You want the keywords you include in your resume to appear naturally throughout it. Avoid keyword stuffing that can do the opposite of gaining the attention you desire.
Rarely will you be told to “be common” throughout the job application and interview process. However, when it comes to your resume font and file type, common is best if you want to get past the ATS.
Use a resume font that is easy for both human readers and ATS systems to read. Go for Calibri, Arial, Times New Roman, or Georgia. Also, save and submit your resume in one of two common resume file types: Word or PDF. Avoid sending in images because ATS systems typically cannot read them.
Many want to make their resume stand out by incorporating graphics, an interesting or creative layout, and images. However, elements like those can make it difficult to read and confuse the ATS. If you want to get noticed and accepted by the company’s ATS, a simple, barebones resume with a standard layout tends to work best.
There are a few resume-checker options you can run your resume through to check on how well it’s rated in terms of ATS-friendliness. Here are some free resume scanners to consider:
Here is an ideal layout to use to create your own resume that’s ATS-friendly:
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[This section should be brief and fall below your contact information so the ATS can read it easily and not confuse it with your contact information.]
[Incorporate your job titles and companies with key job duties, including keywords throughout.]
[Incorporate your education, training, and certifications, including keywords throughout.]
[If you feel the need, incorporate an additional skills section with more keywords to highlight skills and competencies not listed elsewhere in your resume.]
As a recruiting firm, Advantis Global works with a large range of companies seeking to place permanent and contract skilled tech talent. Whether you want to work for companies in the Fortune 50s range to start-ups, our team of recruiters can support you in landing your next job at your ideal company. In many instances, the talent we place is looking for an industry or position change. We help bring them to the top of the pile, increasing their chances of landing their next job, which is often a promotion or higher paying than their previous job.
In addition to supporting your career, we offer interview coaching, so you can stand out throughout the application and interview process. Submit your resume or apply to a job on our website to get connected with a recruiter today.