While most applicants think that the hiring manager reviews all resumes by hand, the truth is that those days are over, especially at large organizations. At these companies, a bit of technology stands between your resume and the hiring manager. This technology is called “ATS”, and it stands for Applicant Tracking System. Large organizations use an ATS to auto-review incoming resumes. Only those resumes that make it through are reviewed by the hiring manager.

Imagine you found the perfect job listing. You’re everything this employer could want, and you submitted the application on time. If you’re still waiting for a call back, chances are your resume is not getting through the ATS system. Learning to craft an ATS-friendly resume will increase your chances of getting through. Without this beautiful, content-rich, ATS-friendly resume, you may never get a call back.

Here you’ll find in-depth information on ATS and how to craft an ATS-friendly resume. You’ll thank us later.

What is ATS, and why do employers use it?

To streamline the recruiting process and reduce costs, many companies are going paperless. This process requires submitting resumes online rather than in hard copy.

The online submission process has proven to work for both the employer and the applicant. Applicants can now send a single resume to multiple employers at the same time, while employers can now store all the resumes on a single drive in their database. However, as the number of job seekers and resumes has dramatically increased over the last few years, employers now struggle to review all of these applications and sort out the best ones. ATS provides the solution by weeding out job applicants with spammy resumes.

ATS sorts and picks the best resumes from a pile of online submissions. By following parameters set by the company’s HR managers, the ATS system quickly reviews each and every detail of a resume to find a match. In short, if your resume matches the ATS’s sorting parameters, it will get through to the hiring manager. If not, then it will get digitally shredded (you’ll be left waiting for a phone call).

If your resumes are getting rejected and you’re wondering why, they may be failing to meet the standard of ATS parameters. We can help you fix that. Read this guide and get step-by-step instructions on how you can prepare an amazing resume that gets through ATS. It will help get you one step closer to your dream job.

How to prepare a resume that passes the ATS test:

Crafting a resume that will pass the ATS test and amazes your future employer is not an easy task, but there are certain things you can do. Follow this step-by-step guide to craft the most perfect, ATS-friendly resume.

  1. One size doesn’t fit all

If you are still sending the same tired resume to each and every job opening, then you’re approach is off. Stop trying to be all things to all employers. Employers want to see that you’re the perfect candidate for their specific job, and only a resume tailored to their job posting will show that. To pass the ATS test, you need to craft a unique resume that provides clear details about your background, experience, and skills. You must write the resume’s content to provide a clear picture about your value proposition and why the target employer should hire you.

  1. K.I.S.S

Kiss stands for “keep it simple, stupid”. It is important to mention because many applicants these days are building resumes with trendy fonts and elaborate graphical elements to try and catch the employer’s attention. However, most of the time the ATS can’t read resumes with jumbled text and complex graphics. The result? Your resume is weeded out and you never get a call.

This is the main difference between resume builders and professional resume writing services. Resume builders focus too much on the presentation and leave you to write your own content. Presentation is important, but powerful content is more important, and you must have both. If you’re spending too much time on aesthetics and not enough on content, you’ll need to rethink your approach.

  1. Keep your content clean

Keeping your content clean means only including relevant information. In other words, don’t make it difficult for the ATS find important keywords and phrases. If you’re trying to include work experience that is outdated and irrelevant to your target position, consider eliminating it from your resume. Irrelevant keywords and content can land your resume in the “rejected” pile, even though you’re perfectly qualified for the position.

  1. Make your resume extra special for ATS

Here are 5 tips that will make your resume extra ATS-friendly:

  • Don’t put more than 64 characters on a line; some ATS systems can only read a certain number of characters per line
  • Avoid using graphics tables because the ATS can only read text
  • Add necessary spacing and sections to improve readability for ATS
  • Include the skills and experiences you have that match the job description
  • Avoid using too many bullets points or distracting borders
  • Include a strong skills section that highlights your technical competencies


Need help?

We can make your resume ATS-friendly and Hiring Manager friendly. Our resume experts are also ATS experts, and we’ll help you write a powerful resume that the ATS and Hiring Managers will love. Within a few days, our experts will review, revise, and revitalize your resume. We know exactly what a winning resume looks like, and we’d love to help.