ats friendly resume

ATS Friendly Resume in 5 Easy Steps 

The ATS system is an innovation that improved the application process for more than 90% of the companies on the job market. ATS stands for Application Tracking System. It is an algorithm that manages the application process automation. It makes it easier for a recruiter to find and hire perfect employees for the necessary positions

If you want to craft a winning resume or get some useful career advice, this source can help: it has several handy tricks on how to work with ATS systems. 

ATS scans all the incoming resumes for the several parameters: 

  • keywords;
  • layout; 
  • document format.

If your resume fails to meet the criteria, it will be automatically discarded. It helps employers track down only the best applicants. At the same time, more than 70% of resumes fail the applicant tracking process. 

ATS Friendly Resume: How the System Works

ATS is programmed with a list of requirements. For example, they may include

  • five years of experience;
  • leadership skills; 
  • managed a big project. 

You provide the next piece of your resume: 

“Highly-skilled C# developer, with seven years of experience. Managed a major project. Has strong communication skills and problem-solving approach.” 

The system reads: 

  • seven years of experience; 
  • highly-skilled;
  • managed a project; 
  • communication skills. 

Then, ATS compares the keywords to the list of requirements. If a resume of an employee does not match the keywords, it automatically fails. If you meet the requirement, the system places it among other relevant resumes that will be studied by a hiring manager. 

There are several useful tips on how to rearrange and format your resume to meet ATS scanning demands. 

ATS Friendly Resume: 5 Easy Steps 

Step 1: Pick the Fitting Resume Format

The reverse-chronological format of a resume is the most ATS-friendly formatting. It allows the system to catch the most relevant numbers, such as years of experience, in the first place and give an applicant some score in advance. 

This format implies highlighting other achievements as well. Providing relevant experience first contributes to the success with resume-scanning software. 

Step 2: Choose the Appropriate Format of the File 

A resume’s format is a tricky element. PDF is the most common-spread type of documents for ATS systems. However, you should pay close attention to the format required in the job position description. 

Some recruiters emphasize what file format your resume should be. 

Step 3: Stick To a Simple Layout 

Many applications try to impress recruiters with a flashy layout. However, an ATS would discard a custom layout with hardly readable elements. If you want to make a bot beating resume, use a simple layout. 

A simple layout means using bullet points for key entries. Use the bigger font for vital blocks of text such as qualification and education, and the smaller font – for the context of these blocks. 

Step 4: Check Resume Sections Names

This step may seem intuitive. Nevertheless, make sure that the key sections of the resume have correct naming and relevant information under them. If you are aiming for your dream job, make sure that the section “Skills” contains all the relevant skills and talents, and “Education” has information about a high school diploma and other certifications. The “Experience” block enlists all your previous places of work and experiences in them. 

Step 5: Add Job-Related Keywords to Your Resume 

Keywords are essentials in the ATS scan. Usually, hiring managers post them in the vacancy description. Generally, keywords may be divided into two groups: job-related skills and action verbs. 

Key skills are what ATS bots will look for in job seekers’ resumes in the first place. For example:

  • data analysis; 
  • negotiations; 
  • system administration skills; 
  • database knowledge, etc. 

You may have the necessary skills, but incorrect wording may spoil your resume for the applicant tracking process. 

Action verbs are a secondary element to which the applicant tracking system pays attention. These are words like:

  • solved;
  • achieved;
  • maximized;
  • invented, etc.

Therefore, it is important not only to describe your duties in previous occupations. You need to highlight the accomplishments of your career. 

Another useful tip – do not use acronyms. ATS systems usually do not understand abbreviations. Therefore, provide a full description of a position before shortening it: for example, System Administrator Manager (SAM). 

ATS Friendly Resume: What’s Next? 

ATS systems are the future of job search. The more the general population is aware of it, the easier the recruiter’s work becomes. Therefore, if you want to get more interviews, optimize your resume for various career resources. 

Prepare several variants of one resume, with different keywords and in various document formats. It would be easier to cover more propositions and land a job in the end.

Whether you engage in an online job or look for an office position, an ATS-friendly resume is always a plus. 


Here are the things you should remember before applying to a career advice expert.

  • Most of the companies on the job market use ATS scanning systems. It helps hire humans fit for the job in any career field. 
  • At the same time, 70% of applications fail to pass an ATS analysis. 
  • If you aim to land a job, keep the resume simple: use bullet-points, simple fonts, and simple layouts. 
  • Keywords are essential to pass an ATS analysis. Use both skills-related words to describe your qualification and action verbs to highlight your accomplishments. 

Similar Posts