Resume writing tips for crossing ATS borders

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22nd July 2018 By Bestwriter

These days it is very common for recruiters to take help of the Application Tracking System, also popularly known as ATS, during the recruitment drive. It allows them to streamline the applicants and choose the best one alone, instead of going through a huge pile of resumes and unnecessarily interviewing absolute candidates, just to find that one right person. If any applicant doesn’t pass the screening of ATS, then they are considered by the recruiters as not fit for sending an interview call to the concerned person.

Now, don’t be too concerned about this…. By knowing what is right and wrong while writing your resume, you can easily cross the ATS test. Here are some effective tips on how to write resume for ats procedure:

trick is to use right keywords

  • The secret is to put those keywords within your resume which are given in the job posting. Which means – every time you are applying for a job, you have to modify your resume and edit it by effectively using the related keywords mentioned in the vacancy advertisement or on company’s profile. Hence it is important to be aware about the ats resume keywords before working on your resume. Yes, although it is bit time consuming, we assure you that it actually works!
  • Keywords must be spread out and used according to the context. Such that if you are putting certain skills under a job title in bullet points and number of years of work experience, it will be counted by ATS. However, if you mention the same in Skills section, then unfortunately it won’t be of any use.
  • Highlight your keywords right in the first page of your resume. ATS has this habit of capturing keywords that is positioned significantly in the front page and also, from the pages after that (if at all) on the top portion.
  • It is not necessary to make use of each and every alternatives of the keywords. Meaning, you don’t have to put relevant words in place of keywords as ats resume checker are smart enough to identify them automatically. For instance, while searching for doctor, it will also capture words like physician, surgeon, specialist and so on. At the same time, if the system is looking for ‘executive’ keyword, it will ignore if you try to be smart by including executive assistant. Don’t underestimate the intelligence of ATS.
  • Using abbreviations are fine. Whether it is BE or B.E. – both are acceptable instead of writing Bachelor of Engineering.
  • If the job posting has specifically mentioned something, show it. For example, if the recruiter is looking for designers who are skilled in Adobe Illustrator then specify it instead of blandly putting as expert in all Adobe Systems.

Guidelines on formatting resume for ats

  • Use any type of fonts or styles or font colours like white. ATS will capture them anyway.
  • Be it PDF or Word DOC, you can submit the resume either way. In case of PDF file, anything that can be edited on a PDF Editor will be scanned by the ATS.
  • Do avoid using tabular columns or text boxes. ATS cannot read them. Whereas, tables are acceptable only if the header and its related content are both inside in one column. Don’t make it as header on left side and its content on the other. For reference, check online for some free ats friendly resume templates so that you will have an idea.
  • Similarly don’t show graph or charts in your resume as ATS will ignore them. You can, however, use them if you are able to repeat the same information through bullet points within your resume. Then the ATS will be able to capture those.
  • Instead of putting your contact details as header, include it on the first page within the main portion of the resume. It will be also good if you mention it again in a header on the second page of your resume so that ATS will not get confused. In fact, it will look good, if the recruiter takes the printout of the resume.
  • Give adequate spaces within your content and sections – so that the ATS will be able to understand the different parts and jobs included by your resume.

How to arrange resume details?

  • Keep all sections within your resume separate and give highlight them accordingly. Summary, Work Experience, Education…. Maintain consistency.
  • Don’t try to avoid putting dates for your work experiences. Else, ATS won’t be able to count them.
  • It is okay to mention a company’s name several times if you have worked there for long in different positions. For every job position change, you have to put the company’s name in the title. This way, the ATS will keep a tab on your professional journey.
  • Don’t put an entire cover letter in front page of your resume. However, it depends and is applicable in certain situations and on different mediums.
  • ATS are smart to identify frequent job changers. So be careful if you have been in several short duration jobs. It is best to combine them as far as possible.

Hope these article has given you good confidence and understanding on how to beat ats resume. Alternatively, you can also maintain two resume formats – one that can be used to face such online resume tracking software and another that is normal and pleasing on eyes. If you want more assistance on resume writing, please be free to get in touch with us… We will help you right away.


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