From this article you will learn:
What is ATS resume and why do you need to adapt resume for ATS?
The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software application that helps companies with their recruitment efforts. ATS researches your resume by keywords (skills, experience, education, position) before the resume is sent to the recruiter.
- Recruiter receives up to 100 responses for one job ad
- Large companies get more than 1 million applications per year
So that the recruiter does not spend a lot of time screening out unsuitable candidates, the ATS system automatically processes the resumes of applicants and gives the recruiter a short list of resumes that have passed the test.
A creative resume, design, and personal touch on your resume will be a waste of time if the resume doesn’t pass the ATS check.
If you want a recruiter to get a resume, it must meet ATS requirements:
- be easy to read
- contain keywords
- be properly formatted
Read about how to make an ATS resume friendly in this article.
How to make a resume ATS-friendly?
The good news is that once you’ve made your resume, it’s easy to adapt it to ATS requirements.
Here are 10 tips to keep in mind for making an ATS resume friendly:
- Format your resume simple and readable for the ATS or select an ATS resume template.
ATS will not be able to read a resume filled with complex graphics, so use a simple legible font (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial) and structure your resume with headings.
We recommend that you work with commonly used and checked resume layouts when submitting your resume. In most cases, it’s a classic resume in a spreadsheet.
We have prepared for you 2 ATS resume friendly templates in MS Word format. You can download the ATS resume templates for free and edit them.
The most reliable way to make an ATS resume friendly is to use a resume generator. That way you can be sure that your resume meets the standards and will be evaluated by ATS.
- Use key terms
Include in your resume keywords that are specific to your profession. For example, if you want to apply for a job as a marketing expert, be sure to include these words: performance analysis, social media, e-commerce.
Formulate your headings clearly and understandably so that ATS can easily scan your text.
This will increase the chances that your resume will get to the next round of filtering on certain requirements and will not be screened out early.
However, try not to overload the text and not to impair its readability.
It is important to find a good balance between the natural mention of keywords and the use of synonyms and alternative phrases.
Remember that once your resume is scanned by the ATS system, it will be read by a regular person who will want to see your personality and individuality.
- Read the terms and conditions of the position and be sure to include all items and requirements for the candidate in your resume
This could be work experience, position, important skills, special training, place of residence, or other requirements that are mentioned in the job posting.
Let’s look at an example. A company that needs a new employee publishes a vacancy and lists mandatory and desirable requirements for candidates.
Mandatory are, for instance:
- Experience: 3+ years
- Position: Web Designer
- Location: New York
The recruiter sets these filters in ATS and looks for candidates who meet the mandatory requirements.
If you do not read the requirements for the job and do not specify one of the mandatory items, the recruiter will not see your resume, even if all other conditions are met.
If the recruiter has a lot of candidates on his list after the first stage of filtering, recruiters can add additional filters: courses, education, skills.
What additional filters are important to include on an ATS resume?
- Geographic location
If you want your job to be close to where you live, put only your home address on your resume.
However, if you are looking for work in another city and are ready to move, you should act differently.
For example, if the job terms state that the job is in New York, which is far from where you live, ATS may automatically reject your resume. In that case, you can do something tricky: put an address in New York, or at least mention New York on your resume.
- Driver’s License
If you have a driver’s license, put it on your resume. Even if you don’t think this item is relevant to the job, you’d better add it. If a recruiter comes across a huge list of candidates, they can use the “driver’s license” filter to narrow down the list.
- Contact information
Don’t forget to include your phone number, email address, Skype ID, etc. so that the recruiter can contact you and invite you for an interview.
- Check your resume for spelling errors
A hiring manager can forgive inattentive mistakes, but the software will not. Be sure to check the text for typos. You probably agree that it would be a shame if you don’t get the job because of a misspelled letter.
Also, try not to abbreviate words so that ATS reads your resume correctly. We recommend that you both write in ATS resume the full form of the word and add an abbreviation.
- Include a paragraph on your resume about your “skills and qualifications“
Formulate them in easy-to-understand language and think about what the recruiter will want to see in this section.
- Choose a chronological resume format
This format is the most suitable for ATS, so the system does not have problems with understanding the resume.
- Write important information in text and don’t get carried away with graphics and photos
Most ATS can only analyze text. This means that all important information should be presented in the resume in text form. If you do want to include a chart or table (e.g. with your skills), this information should also be included in the text.
- Use bullets and clear headings, divide the text into paragraphs
It is difficult for ATS to evaluate continuous text and confusing content. Try to structure your resume as much as possible, avoid long sentences in your text, and use bulleted lists more often.
- Adapt your ATS resume to each vacancy
Your resume should be a dynamic and “flexible” document that you can adapt to any potential employer. If you take a personalized approach, you’ll have a better chance of getting a recruiter interested in you and hiring.
- Pick the right format for the ATS resume.
Usually, PDF resumes are preferred, but some ATS can’t read them, so it’s better to create resumes in MS Word format.
Read the job requirements carefully, and if the employer specifically requests a Word document, be sure to send a .doc or .docx file.
How to check if my resume meets the ATS requirements?
Want to make sure your resume meets ATS requirements? Use the online ATS resume checker to see if your resume is ATS-friendly.
To check, you will need the text of your resume and the job description. The service will scan the files and tell you what information you need to add to create an friendly ATS resume.
In general, making an ATS resume compliant is not difficult if you use a clear structure and pay attention to important keywords. However, always keep the recruiter in mind, because they will ultimately make the decision about hiring.
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Still have questions about how to create a ATS resume? Or maybe you’d like to share your tips and experience on applying for a job and searching for vacancies? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.