If you’re looking for a job, it is highly likely that you are sitting and trying to make your resume work. We all know that the vast majority of HR managers and recruiters have to deal with lots of CVs during their hiring seasons, and lots of those are left in the dark shelf of papers that are not likely to be reviewed, ever. To avoid this potential fate, lots of people are trying to make their resumes unique and so on, there are lots of articles about that.
However, there is yet another thing – ATS. Yet another barrier that requires people to know how to get resume past ATS if they want to have a job. You might ask what is an ATS resume? That is what I am going to explain and provide tips for you to understand how to make resume ATS friendly.
ATS – what it is and how is what flavors go with it
ATS, also known as an applicant tracking system, is basically a type of software that recruiters use to go through all the resumes they receive. ATS takes care of things such as collecting, sorting, scanning, and even ranking potential interviewers! As you can understand, this means that ATS can easily turn down lots of CVs, so I would advise you to use a resume grader to find out whether yours is likely to pass the test.
The software was created for corporations, but now lots of large companies are using it as well. ATS serves as a gatekeeper that keeps potentially unqualified candidates from getting past the resume stage, thus giving recruiters more time to work with potentially qualified people. That’s why you should know what is an ATS compliant resume how to pass this test.
How to make it work
How to format resume for ATS
First things first, it is important to keep in mind that the file format of your resume matters. If the system does not provide you with a list of possible formats to be uploaded, avoid using PDF and try sticking to Word file extension for your resume; this way, you’ll be able to increase ATS-friendliness of your personal advertisement. I strongly advise you to avoid things such as images and graphical elements whatsoever because the ATS system does not recognize images, which means that they are a waste of time and space and could cause the system to miss important facts about you. Also, avoid putting any sort of important information in headers or footers of the document.
How to optimize resume for ATS
So, now we know the basic features of ATS and what is ATS resume, great. Now, the more interesting stuff about content. First of all, I highly suggest you to use a hybrid type organization that includes:
You see, ATS systems are emphasizing the chronological order of your work history and it is advisable to avoid classic format with an emphasis on your abilities. Go with a professional summary, remember the good old strengths vs skills difference, try utilizing bullet points, and include your previous experiences. Following this format, you’ll make your resume more optimized and its chances of passing the ATS barrier will increase dramatically.
There is yet another trick. After creating your individual ad, try copying all its contents into a freshly created document. If the contents seem to be messy, disorganized, or misplaced, your resume is not ATS-compliant and will require additional tweaking. Remember – this software doesn’t care and judges raw text.
Finally, ATS systems are looking for keywords. Those are specific words that the software is looking for in order to determine whether an applicant is qualified for a job. That is why you should determine important keywords and utilize them, especially in your soft and hard skills section of the professional summary. The easiest way to locate the most important keywords is by checking several best sites for job seekers, find a couple of job descriptions, and look for terms that are used the most.
Other useful tips
While you have to include work history, strengths and skills, and other stuff such as educational background, remember – a resume is your personal advertisement. So, it has to include information on how to contact you. It’s also imperative to include things such as certifications, honors, and other important achievements.
A resume should be tailored according to a specific position and even company, standardized personal ad to fit any sort of position is going to the spam box! If you’re looking for a first job or have no relevant experience for a position you’re going to apply, it is possible to consider hobbies to put on resume. Just think about how to make them look appealing for the recruiters.
So, now you know what is ATS compliant resume. The software is quite tricky, but all the tips mentioned above should help you to understand what needs to be done and how to pass ATS resume. Just remember – ATS loves simplicity, organization, and keywords. This is quite simple, and you’ll be able to get your resume noticed by recruiters!