What is ATS? Best 7 Tips To Make ATS Resume

How to make an ATS resume

Discover what is ATS, how it works, and how can you make an ATS friendly resume. Scroll down and get to know every detail concerning ATS and ATS Resume.

What is ATS Resume

As soon as you find the perfect job opportunity, you begin to write a customized resume and cover letter. Very soon you submit your application online with a hope that it will pass the six-second employers’ scan. Often, your application does not get a response. This leaves you wondering why the employer wasn’t that into you.

Well, actually applicants fail to realize that 75% of job applications are rejected before they reach the hands of a live person. This is because they are first subjected to scanning by a software- applicant tracking system.

Scroll down and discover all that you wanted to know about ATS. Moreover, find best tips to optimize your resume and beat these bots.

What is ATS?

First of all, what is ats full form? ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System.

An applicant tracking system (or ATS) is a type of software used by recruiters and employers. They use this in the hiring process to collect, classify, scan, and rank the applications they receive for any particular job opening.

Initially, an applicant tracking system was created for large corporations. Those that received several thousand job applications for every position, used this software. However, things have taken a turn now. Approximately 95 percent of companies rely on ATS software for their recruitment process.

How does ATS work?

Applicant tracking systems are electronic workers for employers/recruiters. An ATS analyzes a resume by parsing its content into categories. Next, it scans the document for specific keywords. Only then it passes the job application to the recruiter.

Pros of Applicant Tracking System

So, basically, applicant tracking systems choose the relevant applications and weed out unqualified ones. These save a recruiter’s time. So, the unqualified ones are rejected technically. Now, the recruiter has a set of qualified candidates from whom they choose the best fit.

Cons of Applicant Tracking System

Unfortunately, ‘qualified’ here does not concern your actual qualification rather focuses on whether your resume is well-written and formatted. So, no matter how well you match the job requirements, if you do not create a resume with the applicant tracking system in mind, you can be easily neglected and your application rejected.

Best 7 Tips To Make ATS Resume

Now that you have a basic idea of the software employed for your selection, it is time to make your resume the ideal one. All your qualities and records fail to win you a job if your resume is not optimized for ATS.

So, to make your an ideal one, follow the tips below. Here we bring to you simple 7 tips for a perfect resume that can pass applicant tracking systems.

1. Which is the right file type for your resume?

A common belief that a PDF is the most ATS-friendly file type. Well, this is not the case.

While PDF files are the best for preserving your resume design and format, they are not compatible with most of the ATS software. However, when you are uploading your resume and “PDF” is listed among the file types you can, then go for a PDF resume. If the company has not listed any the compatible files, play safe and stick to a Word document. You may go for .doc or .docx. Plain-text files are also good and ATS-friendly, but they limit your formatting options.

Most importantly, do not forget that your resume has to pass both-the software as well as the HR. So, a Word file is a better option. It has more room for creativity that can impress your hiring manager.

2. Use keywords from the job posting

The best and most important part is to add keywords. These ensure your resume is compatible with an ATS.

What are Resume Keywords?

Keywords those words that represent the specific requirements of an employer for a particular job opening. These include soft skills and hard skills, expertise over the years or any specific trait that qualifies you for your target job.

Where can you find Resume Keywords?

Well, these are not a certain limited set of words that remain the same for every resume. These are variable. Every job position, every company that you apply for will look for different keywords that must be in your resume.

You can find these in-

  • The job posting/advertisement/description. Usually, placed under the requirements or qualifications section.
  • The company’s website can also provide you with some keywords.

So, when you find yourself clueless about which keywords should be used in your resume, scan three to five job descriptions that represent the type of position you’re applying for.

You can also take help of a word-cloud generator, such as Wordle. It helps identify the terms that are frequently used in your desired positions. If you possess any of the skills or qualifications, include the terms into your resume.

Certain applicant tracking systems determine the strength of your skills based on the repetition of some term in your resume. On the other hand, others assign an estimated amount of experience for a particular skill.

Therefore, to ensure that your resume is truly compatible with any ATS, optimize it for both the types.

Tip– Create a “Core Competencies” section. You can include this within your resume professional summary Here you can list your strongest hard skills and soft skills. Then, you add these same terms into your “Work Experience” or “Education” sections.

Related- 50+ Top Resume Management Skills

3. Avoid header and footer

Most of the applicant tracking systems are unable to read the information stored in the header and footer sections of a Word document.

Most of the applicants tend to put their contact information in these sections. So, you may avoid headers and footers. Even if you wish to include them, make sure that you do not place important contact details in them. Or if you are putting contact information, then also include it outside the header or footer of your resume.

4. Avoid charts and graphics

These are appealing to the human eye. However, they are not so likable by the applicant tracking system. For instance, when you insert an image or chart for your key skills, the ATS will be unable to read it. So, most of the information is lost on the applicant tracking system when it is in the form of charts, images or graphics.

5. Use simple bullet points

Bullet points catch attention. These are a great method for highlighting accomplishments and qualifications on a resume. However, when you choose a fancy symbol for your bullets, the important details could get scrambled. Therefore, stick to the simplest options. A solid circle, open circle, square bullets work good with ATS.

6. Keep it simple and clean

When you choose your resume’s design, be simple. Complex or fancy resume designs and formats confuse applicant tracking systems. Moreover, they might also annoy recruiters. Your resume should be easy to read. Anyone who is accustomed to quickly scanning a resume for certain information should be able to do that easily.

Sticking to standard resume formats is certainly a better idea. A hybrid resume works well with applicant tracking systems. The reverse-chronological resume format is the best option. Avoid functional resume formats.

7. How to check ATS-resume compatibility?

Here are two ways to determine if your resume is compatible with an applicant tracking system (ATS).

Convert your resume to a plain-text file

This is simple and easy. You simply have to copy the content from your resume and paste it into a plain-text document. See the results.

If the plain-text version displays any missing details, or the characters are saved incorrectly, appears disorganized, then edit your resume. It means that your resume is not perfectly formatted and needs editing before it will be ATS compatible.

Opt for free ATS resume sc

Several sites offer this feature. You can run a free ATS resume scan and you’ll receive feedback on your resume’s content and ATS compatibility.

Sites for free ATS resume scan-

Cheap Resume Writing Services

So, gear up and never let the software stop you from landing your dream job. We wish you luck with your oncoming job.

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