A Step-by-Step Guide to making an ATS-Friendly Resume

Does this ever happen to you that your job searching most of the time feels like you are throwing your resumes into a black hole? Or wondering if your job applications are being read at all. Possibly you’ve come to know that automated ATS friendly resume scanners reject job applications before they even reach a human. And yes—at many corporations that receive a high number of applications, that’s true.

The Job searching landscape has been completely transformed by the internet. The days when you would go in and speak to a hiring manager are long gone except for the small or local businesses. Rather, you apply online these days as you don’t physically fill out a job application and send your resumes via mail anymore. Nowadays you can apply for a lot more jobs. But it’s not only you, you’ve also got almost everybody applying for a job application of your interest. This means that an open job position can receive far more applications than the companies can read.

To overcome this situation, the hiring managers and recruiters more often use an applicant tracking system—software that assists them to organize job applications and ensure no application is missed. If you’ve applied for a job in the past decade, it’s highly likely that your application has passed through an Application Tracking System. Over 98% of hiring and staffing companies use an Application Tracking System, according to research conducted by Jobscan. Whenever you apply for a job through online platforms, your application is received and processed by an Application Tracking software.

An ATS does not just track an application but does more than this. It filters applications, parses resume, forwards the most relevant resumes to the hiring managers or the recruitment team. That’s the resume-scanning technology you’ve probably heard about.

Fortunately, getting past the ATS is way simpler than you might think. To create an ATS-Friendly resume that will find its way to the hiring manager, please follow these important points:

 

Apply Only to Roles You’re Qualified For

 

Application Tracking Systems get an impression as the “robots” standing between an applicant and the new job and when you hear that recruiters read only 25% of the applications they receive for most postings, it might strengthen that impression.

But we usually overlook the reason why recruiters read such a small fraction of applications? The answer is simple, most candidates are not qualified for the job the recruiter was filling.While others are completely irrelevant.

So, first thing’s first, make sure you qualify for the roles you wish to apply for. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to hit every single job qualification or apply to a job only if you have the traditional background for it. If you fail to have the core skills needed to perform a particular job, you better do not waste your time or a recruiter’s.

Don’t Apply to many Jobs at the Same Company

 

The recruiters can see all the roles a candidate has applied for at their company through an applicant tracking system. Many recruiters notice that the same person is applying to every single job opening the company had. This will have a negative impact as a recruiter can’t tell what exactly an applicant is interested in or even if the applicant is aware of their abilities.

You may apply for both if a company has two similar jobs open. Similarly, you may apply for two very different roles if you have a wide range of core skills required for those job openings and would be equally competent in both these roles.

At the same time, you shouldn’t be applying to both an entry-level position and a managerial-level position. And you definitely avoid applying to every single opening a company has. That just shows you haven’t taken the time to consider what the right role for you is—and a recruiter isn’t likely to take the time to do it for you.

Include the Right Keywords

 

An Applicant Tracking system is programmed to scan for key pieces of information or data in a resume to find out whether or not the application is matching the job criteria. So, while writing a resume that can make past an ATS, you must ensure that the key information is present and that it’s easy to find as well.

One of the many ways that the ATS narrows a talent pool is by searching for specific keywords for the job application. It’s similar to a google search but on a smaller scale.

The recruiter can choose which keywords to look for—normally whatever qualifications, capabilities, experience, or characteristics are generally significant for performing the job. For entry-level jobs, that may mean certain majors, while for a tech position, it very well may be certain programming languages.

So, if you want your resume to make it past the ATS, you’ll need to include those significant keywords in your resume. Clue: Look for the core skills that surface more than once in a job posting and are referenced at the top of the job requirements and duties. Core skills may include kinds of programming languages, technologies, methodologies, and different capacities that are simpler to evaluate.

Depending on the industry that you are applying in, certain qualifications and certifications might also be important keywords. For instance, in fields like nursing where state licenses are essential, employers are going to want to know at a glimpse that you’re legally permitted to do the job you’re applying for.

At times, an ATS checking for keywords will just perceive and count exact matches. So, in the event that you have the right experience, yet you composed it using language that is different from what the system is searching for, you probably won’t come up as the top candidates. For instance, if you write that you’re an “ASW” but the ATS is checking for “Authorized Social Worker,” it may drop your resume. Or on the other hand, you wrote that you’re “an Excel master,” however the ATS is looking for somebody who has “command on spreadsheets,” your resume may never get to the employer.

Choose the Right File Type

 

In the incredible resume document-type debate, there are just two genuine competitors: Docx versus .pdf. While PDFs are best at keeping your format undamaged, the .docx format is the most precisely parsed by ATS. So, if you need your resume to move beyond the ATS, use a .docx document. But if the posting requests a specific document type, offer it to them.

In case you’re thinking about utilizing an online resume builder, the first thing to look for is the file type it generates the resume in. If you don’t have Microsoft Word or another program that can change your resume to .docx or .pdf, you can utilize Google Docs to make a resume, then download it in one or the other format for free.

Make Your Resume Easy to Scan

 

To ensure that your resume has the correct substance for an ATS, you additionally need to ensure that the ATS can figure out that information and deliver it to the individual on the opposite end in a readable form. Luckily, ATS-friendly resume formatting is basically the same as recruiter-friendly resume formatting. Like a human, the ATS will read from top to bottom and left to right, so remember that as your format. For example, your name and contact information should all be at the top, and your work history should begin with your latest or current position.

Among the three normal resume formats you can choose from—chronological, combination, and functional—ATSs are customized to lean toward the initial two. Recruiter or HR professionals likewise incline toward chronological and combination formats.

Avoid Fancy Formatting

 

It might torment you to hear this, yet you probably need to dispose of that expensive resume format or heavily designed custom resume. To check your resume for applicable keywords most ATSs will change the document to a text-only file. So, any fancy formatting will be lost. The ATS will be unable to pull out the significant information and so an individual may never look at your nice designs—or read about the experience and abilities that really qualify you for the work.

 

 

When designing a resume to go through an ATS avoid Tables, Text boxes, Logos, Images, Graphics and visuals

Columns: Since the systems are programmed to read left to right, some will read columns straight across

Headers and footers: Header and footer get dropped by most Applicant Tracking software so include all the information within the body only.

Uncommon section headings: Use conventional heading like “Education,” “Work Experience,” and “Technical Skills,” so the ATS knows how to process your information.

Less common fonts: Use a universal font like Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, Times New Roman, or Cambria. Do not download new fonts as the ATS may never parse the resume.

The element that can be used to process by an ATS:

Bold

Italics

Underline: Stick to using underlines in headings and for URLs only.

Bullets: Stick to the standard circle- or square-shaped only.

For a free demo of the RecruitBPM and Resume-Library integration, sign up here.

 

 

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