Your ATS-Friendly Resume Template can beat the Bots!

Make Applicant Tracking System (ATS) bots your friend……“it’s your content that has to pass the software screening these days”

In countless ways, technology and online platform has made the job search so much easier and more accessible, but at the same time it created some extra challenges. You need to make ATS-Friendly Resume past applicant tracking system – a recruiting software, first before you can even get your resume in the hands of a hiring manager.

ATS Friendly Resume

As the recruitment scenario is exponentially growing competitive with each passing year, isn’t the job search exercise becoming exponentially overwhelming? It is like dropping your resume and cover letter applications into a black hole, without having any idea whether your applications are being read at all!
In this scenario, hiring companies use the resume screening process to extract only those candidates who match their job requirements and weed out the rest. One must have ATS-friendly resume to receive more interview calls.

What is ATS?

Here we pitch in the ATS or Applicant Tracking Systems. Now, ATS is a software program that is used by companies to quickly determine if an applicant is qualified for a job opening. It scans the resume content and uses an algorithm to search for keywords. It is a way of shortlisting or filtering out a few resumes from the thousands of applications to go to the next round of the recruitment process.

The job searching landscape has been completely revamped by the internet. The days when you’d “go in and ask to speak to a manager” for all but the smallest local businesses are bygone. Rather, you apply online—which is a double-edged sword for everyone engaged. As you don’t have to physically fill apply for jobs or hand over resumes and cover letters, you can apply to a lot more jobs. But, so can everybody. This means that a job opening can easily get a large number of applications than companies have the resources to read.

ATS provides companies an easy way to handle data and create more order throughout the hiring process. If your resume doesn’t get screened through the ATS, your application will likely to be rejected even before it reaches the hiring manager.

Designing an ATS-Friendly Resume means particularly to receiving a go-ahead from the company’s Applicant Tracking System. A resume created keeping the ATS compliance in mind will have a better chance of reaching the hands of an actual hiring manager, which is one step closer to landing an interview.

Six Important Steps for Getting Past an ATS.

As long as you’re familiar with the software in question creating an ATS-friendly resume template is a simple process. By knowing what those systems search for and how they read that information better prepares you for submission.

1  Get familiar with the applicant tracking systems
Researching the applicant tracking systems and fully understand how they work is the first step towards ATS-friendly resume creation. While ATS often make the application process seamless by selecting important information from your resume, they’re also used in finding the best-fit candidates for employers. This saves a large amount of time from their day as they only have the best resumes in front of them.

2  Use correct keywords
The ATS systems scan documents, spotting for assigned keywords and tossing those with the least amount. Using plenty of industry or role-specific terminology and collating with the actual job posting for additional terms would further let the resume be picked up by the ATS. Proper keywords put your resume at the top of the list.

3 Keyword Optimisation
The most important element of an ATS-friendly resume is optimising the keywords on your resume. It is most essential to creating a resume that doesn’t slip through the cracks.

ATS scans the content of your resume to let recruiters search for keywords. Your resume is even automatically rated by some ATS based on how well your content matches the job description. These are two methods in which those recruiters can handpick candidates without looking through every single resume.

One of the best ways to getting noticed in an ATS is best achieved by accurately predicting which words the recruiter will type into the search bar. Recruiters mostly search for Job titles, and core competencies like marketing, customer service, editing, or Microsoft Excel

4 Create simple layouts or designs
ATS can’t read heavily-designed and drastic layouts. Few employers prefer resumes that have character and personality depending upon which sector they belong to. It displays a bit more about each candidate. Using a simple layout, yet strong keyword-rich content increases the probability of resume selection via ATS.

The way your resume is designed can also affect ATS interacts with it. Many top ATS do away with as much formatting as possible to analyse and deconstruct the plain text. This allows some ATS to import your resume content into a uniform candidate profile.
Keeping formatting simple will facilitate that your ATS-friendly resume is parsed accurately and shortlisting becomes easier.

5 Always choose the right file type for your resume
A PDF is not the most ATS-friendly file type quite contrary to popular belief. As we know the PDF files are the best at preserving the design and format of your resume, but they are not compatible with all ATS software. When you upload your resume to an applicant tracking system and “PDF” can be chosen among the file types you can, by all means, use a PDF version of your resume. If it is not specified in the system which file types are compatible, it’s better to stick to Word document in .doc or .docx.

6 Create Your Resume Easy to Scan (by Robots and Humans)
After making sure that your resume has the correct content for an applicant tracking system, you also need to make sure the ATS can make sense of that information to ensure its delivery to the person on the other end in a readable form. The ATS bots read the resume from left to right and top to bottom just like the human eye. So ATS-friendly resume formatting is very similar to recruiter-friendly resume formatting. A chronological format would be the best fit for both ATS and human notice-ability.

All said and done if you want your resume to beat the bots when you evaluate your resume or give it the final gut check, try to remain as objective as possible. 

Sujata Mukherjee