How to Develop ATS friendly Resumes

In the current job market, the organizations which are utilizing an applicant tracking system are most probably be able to attract, identify and hire the top talent within no time. Whereas, when the companies do not leverage the new recruitment technologies face failures in achieving their recruiting goals. Hence, ATS-friendly resumes have become important more than ever.

Having recruiting software in place for your hiring process digitalizes and centralizes all of your recruiting data in a single platform. It also performs an initial screening of the received applications to point out the best potential candidates. These are only a few to mention from many things an ATS can do for you. Applicant tracking systems are very useful for improving the complete recruiting process. Moreover, it helps in alleviating the most critical problems concerning the hiring and talent acquisition activities.

Why are companies preferring robots to make HR decisions?

What it’s all about is speed. Sifting through hundreds of thousands of resumes for sorting the candidates can be a time-consuming and tiresome activity. Applicant tracking system speeds up this procedure by detecting the resumes that comprise the required key skill sets and experiences.

As disclosed in a report, nearly 75% of the applicants are unable to get their resumes through the ATS screening. The screening procedure performs the task of cutting down a bulky applicant pool into just a few of the candidates that the human hiring managers can evaluate more closely.

How to create ATS-friendly resumes?

Here are a few tips for the applicants to ensure ATS friendly resumes:

  • Choose the right file type for your resume:

Different from the general belief, a PDF is not the most compatible file type for an applicant tracking system. Even though PDF files are the best ones at securing the design and format of the resumes. Yet it may not suite all applicant tracking software. Ensure that you utilize the right file format for your resume. For example if the file format should be in PDF then upload PDF copy of your resume.

Nonetheless, if the system has not listed any specific category of files compatible to use, to be on the safe side you must stick to Word Document in .doc or .docx. You can also use plain-text files as they are an extremely compatible format with an ATS. Yet you will have limited formatting options with them. The top resumes are developed with two audiences’ perspective. I.E. The robots who pre-screen your application and the real human beings in HR who analyze your resume, after it makes through the applicant tracking system. Therefore, the best file type to use for your resume is Word Document. As it offers you more formatting options with great appeal to the recruiters or hiring managers.

  • Avoid placing important details in the header or footer:

It is a fact that not all of the applicant tracking software has the ability to accurately read and parse information placed in the header and footer section of a Word Document. According to a recent study, most ATS are incapable of identifying a section of the applicant’s contact information 25% of the time. Easily avoid such mistakes by putting your crucial contact details outside the header and footer of the resume. (For example your name, contact number, or email address)

  • Use keywords to optimize your resume:

One of the best ways to develop ATS friendly resumes is to optimize it with keywords. Using such keywords or rich marketing terms and phrases like “proactive” or “ambitious” that can represent your soft and hard skills. It also represents the proficiency you have gained over the years and make you a qualified candidate for the job. Uncertain about the keywords then you need to do is to compile three to five job descriptions representing the concerned of job position. At that time, use a word-cloud generator (Wordle, WordArt or Tagxedo) by copying and pasting the job description and find out the terms which are recurrently utilized overall in your chosen positions. If you have the qualifications or skills, then include these keywords in your resume.

When it’s regarding developing an ATS-optimized resume, you must take into consideration the overall frequency and placement of these keywords into your resume. Some of the applicant tracking systems analyze the credibility of your skills depending on the quantity of how many times a term has appeared in the resume (ideally use the term for two to three times all through your resume), while some other ATS systems allocate a calculated amount of experience for a specific skill depending on its placement throughout the resume. To create ATS friendly resumes, you need to optimize your resume keeping both systems in mind.

  • Do not use images, charts and other graphics:

Although images and graphics may have an attractive appearance for the human eye. Resumes with inserted images appear as an obscured combination.  They can get misplaced from your application after passing through an applicant tracking system. For example, if you use an image or chart to represent your main skills, the recruiting software will not be able to read it. In case, you have used a cool graphic to label your name on your resume, this part of information will be invisible to an applicant tracking system.

  • Keep it simple with bullet points:

When utilized properly, bullet points can be a great technique to highlight the achievements and qualifications on your resume. On the other hand, if you select an intricate character for your bullets, your key marketing points may get scrambled. Therefore, keep from utilizing elaborate symbols when developing a bulleted list on your CV. Use the simple and plain options for your resume. For instance, a solid circle, open circle, or a square, to make certain that your bullet points improve your resume. Try avoiding the things that make the resume unsuitable for an applicant tracking system.

  • Have a simple resume layout and hierarchy:

When it comes to the layout of your resume the simplest is the best. Using a complex design  for your resume not only confuses applicant tracking systems but also aggravate the recruiters. Therefore, the resumes should cater for particular information compliant to ATS and easily scannable.

  • Consistency

Lastly, the most important job strategy is to have a LinkedIn profile using similar keywords as in your resume. It will be useful for you to make the most of your job search. It will also showcase your consistency and persuade the recruiters to give attention to your details.

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