A few decades ago recruiters ran their database of candidates and employees in Excel. Now everything has changed. An applicant tracking system is used to automate recruitment. It’s a special software for the automation of recruitment tasks. In other words, the candidate management program automatically filters applications by keyword, skills required for the job, the experience that is needed for the candidate to pass, or education. On one hand, it significantly simplifies the recruitment tasks. On the other hand, it becomes difficult for potential job seekers to get the position.

The point is that ats sorts candidates based on the specific parameters for the corresponding vacancy and if the resume doesn’t match the requirements, you won’t pass the first stage even though you fit the position. That’s why it’s important to make a unique resume for each position. What’s more, there is a special ATS checker so that you can find whether the resume is ats compliant or not before sending it to the recruiters. Let’s find out what the main points you should follow while writing the resume to ensure it is ats friendly. 

Tailor your Resume 

The very first rule is that your resume must be adapted to the profession and the specific request of the employer. The trick is that the vacancy already has requirements that you can rephrase for use. In the Job History section, don’t list all previous responsibilities. It’s a common mistake when job seekers create resumes in an attempt to impress employers. Instead, simply list the duties. But remember that they have to be appropriate for the vacancy you are applying for. It does not mean that you are not the right person for the job if you do not have all the skills listed in the description. For most employers, it’s important to have the basic skills needed to get the job done.

Pick Up the Corresponding Keywords

Ats narrows down candidates by hunting for certain keywords similar to how Google works, only on a bit narrow field. The recruiter or HR specify the search parameters (most often, their skills, qualifications, education, etc.). For some jobs, it could be the title of the position, while for a technical job, it might be the names of programming languages, as you can see in backend developer resume samplesthe level of detail they bring to the table. So, consider including the info for you and your skills to pass ats requirements. There are specific tools online for identifying friendly keywords if you face issues finding them on your own.

Sometimes the ats software recognizes and pays attention only to the exact matches. So, if you have the corresponding experience but describe it in a way that differs from that specified by HR or the recruiter most probably you will be skipped as a possible candidate. For example, you may add coding skills while ats may search for computer basic knowledge expression. To ensure your experience will be identified by the system you need to write a brief explanation.

However, it doesn’t mean that you need to put keywords everywhere. Even if you pass ats standards, it will become immediately obvious to a recruiter that you focus only on keywords. You can use bullet points to highlight accomplishments. Recruiters need to see that you not only have a certain skill but successfully use it and the results are seen.

Do Not Overload Resume

Some job seekers make their resumes stand out among others by using unique fonts, tables, or other graphical elements. This is a common mistake because it’s difficult for ats to scan them. Instead of dressing up the resume, make it simple and easy to read. Remove tables, logos, graphics, headers, and complex and unnecessary elements in the margins.

There is no need to decorate resumes just because ats converts them into simple text files for scanning. In the best-case scenario, the formatting will be cleaned. In the worst case, the system cannot extract the needed information, and the recruiter may never read the resume and find out that you are qualified enough for the job. To simplify the process of creating resumes, there are hundreds of ats compliant ats templates that you can use for free. 

The End of the Line

While looking for employees, recruiters have to consider hundreds, and sometimes thousands of resumes. Ats helps significantly make this process simpler surprisingly by automating it. Such systems scan the candidates’ skills and identify whether they fit the position or not even before the resume is seen by recruiters. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to puzzle over the process of creating the resume. You just have to carefully read the description of the vacancy and correctly build the resume to meet the standards by following simple rules. 

About the Author

Gillian Grunewald

Gillian is a talented writer with a strong research approach in the career field. Has over 12 years of experience in resume, LinkedIn profile writing and editing. Education Master of Fine Arts, Writing Eastern Washington University.