How To Write An ATS Friendly Resume?
Here is everything you need to know about an ATS Friendly resume. So, read on and discover how to write a resume for applicant tracking systems and the tricks to beat them. Do not miss out on ATS friendly resume templates below that can be accessed for free.
It is the most common scene. A number of candidates find their perfect job opportunity, customize the resume and cover letter, submit the application online, but unfortunately, the job application is lost amidst the process.
This may leave you wondering why the employer didn’t shortlist.
Here we reveal to you what most of the candidates lack in their resume. What costs them the job?
Job seekers fail to realize is that 75 percent of job applications are rejected even before they are seen by human eyes. You must know that your resume reaches the hands of a live person, only after it has passed a particular software known as an applicant tracking system.
So, here is all the information about applicant tracking systems and what you can do to optimize your resume and beat these bots.
What is an applicant tracking system?
An applicant tracking system or ATS is a type of software. It is often used by recruiters and employers in the hiring process. Basically, it participates in the collection, sorting, scanning, and ranking the job applications received for open positions.
Initially, it was created for large corporations that dealt with several thousand inbound job applications on a regular basis. However, today, approximately 95 percent of companies rely on ATS software. It immensely helps in streamlining their recruitment process.
So, you must create an ATS friendly resume to get your dream job.
How to Write An ATS Friendly Resume
Learn about what makes a resume compatible with an ATS. Here we have identified the most common resume mistakes that cause an applicant tracking system to toss an application. If you want to ensure that your resume is compliant for an ATS, follow the tips below to write an ATS friendly resume.
1. Choose the correct file type when submitting your resume
Most of the people believe and may also recommend that a PDF is the most ATS-friendly file type.
Well, PDF files are the best at preserving the design of your resume, it is not compatible with every ATS software.
So, you must take care that when you are asked to upload your resume to an applicant tracking system and “PDF” is listed among the file types you can, then, by all means, use a PDF version of your resume.
However, if they do not specify which file types are compatible, then it is best to play it safe and avoid pdf.
So, which file type is the safest?
Stick to a Word document in .doc or .docx. Plain-text files are also compatible with ATS, but they limit your formatting options.
Related: Avoid the Top 20 Resume Mistakes
2. Be careful with the header or footer
Not all applicant tracking systems are able to scan information stored in the header and footer sections of a Word document.
So, you must avoid placing important details such as your contact information, in the header or footer.
3. Use resume keywords to optimize your resume
Well, this is one of the best ways to ensure your resume is compatible with an ATS. So, optimize your resume with keywords. A number of candidates opt for “buzzwords” which are typically considered to be fluffy marketing terms like “proactive” or “self-starter,”. Surveys suggest that keywords are better as they represent the soft skills and hard skills you possess as well as the expertise you have acquired in the course of your job.
If you find yourself confused about what keywords should be used in your resume, check out some job descriptions that represent the type of position you’re pursuing.
You can copy and paste the job description into a word-cloud generator, such as Wordle. It identifies the terms frequently used throughout your desired positions.
Now you can easily use those terms, skills or qualifications, into your resume.
Furthermore, creating an ATS-optimized resume also requires attention towards the frequency, as well as the placement of these keywords throughout your resume.
Some applicant tracking systems determine the strength of your skills based on the number of times a particular term shows up in your resume. So, repeat the most suitable keywords a few times in your resume.
For this, you can first, add them to your “Core Competencies” or “Areas of Expertise” section. Then, you can pepper these same terms into your “Work Experience” or “Education” sections as well.
4. Avoid images, graphics, charts
Although these may look nice to the human eye, resumes embedded with images may get that piece of information omitted by ATS. For instance, if you use an image or chart to showcase your key skills, it may happen that the ATS fails to read it. Thus, this piece of information will be lost on the applicant tracking system.
5. Use simple bullet points
Bullet points are a great method for highlighting accomplishments on a resume.
However, if you choose some fancy, elaborate symbol for your bullets, your important selling points might get scrambled.
So, to avoid such a scene do not use intricate characters when creating a bulleted list on your resume.
It is best to stick to the simplest options, such as a solid circle, open circle, or square. This ensures that your bullet points enhance your resume, rather than make it incompatible with an ATS.
How to create an ATS-friendly resume format
If you want your resume to be ATS friendly, stick to a standard resume format, such as a reverse-chronological or hybrid resume.
Such resume formats use a professional summary section towards the top of the document. They outline your key skills and qualifications in an impressive manner. The various sections explain how you’ve leveraged these qualities to produce results for your employers.
Most applicant tracking systems are better at reading and interpreting a hybrid/combination format.
For best results, you must a functional resume format at all costs.
Related- Various Types of Resume Formats
So, follow the above tips to create an ATS friendly resume in no time. We wish you luck with your oncoming job!
ATS Friendly Resume Templates
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