Working on an Application Tracking System friendly Resume

How to Beat an Application Tracking System

When applying for any job, there is a good chance your resume will be parsed by an Application Tracking System (ATS) before it even reaches a human eye. Application Tracking Systems help create an efficient and effective hiring practice. It reviews resumes and classifies candidates based on specific criteria and attempts to identify those individual who are the most qualified.

As with all automation, there are challenges with these tools evaluating your skills and background.  To make sure your resume ends up in the recruiter’s hands, you need to make your resume ATS-friendly.

The first step is to learn more about the Application Tracking System software and how they work. Click here to learn more.

Now that you know the mind and the background of ATS, here are some tips and tricks on making your resume more ATS-friendly:

Use relevant keywords 

One of the main functions of an Application Tracking System is to recognize certain keywords. Clearly indicating your technical skill sets in both a summary and throughout your resume will bolster your chances of being seen by both a recruiter and hiring manager.  Further,  both  degrees and certifications are also important factors in your qualifications being reviewed, classified and ranked.


Use basic formatting

As much as we all want our resume to stand out, using an expensive resume template or a heavily designed custom resume may not be to your benefit. Application Tracking Systems will convert resumes into a text-only file so that it can scan for keywords. Using an elaborate resume template can put certain sections of your resume at risk for not being able to be scanned. This could make or break you from ever actually getting your resume looked at by someone.


Submit the correct type of file

Before doing anything, check for any rules or requests on what type of file format to submit.

If there are no rules, we suggest submitting a .docx file. Even though PDFs are good for keeping the format intact, a .docx file is the most accurately read by ATSs and gives you a better chance that it won’t miss anything.


Apply Only to Roles You’re Qualified For

Suppose a job posting says they are looking for ten years of experience and you only have two years, then it is best not to apply and keep looking for other jobs. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to hit 100% of the job criteria, but if you don’t have the core skills required to perform a job, you’re better off not wasting your time or a recruiter’s.


Don’t Try to Trick the ATS

You’ve probably heard about ways to “trick an ATS,” but in the end, those tricks will be discovered by the system and not look good on your part. So, if you are thinking of pasting keywords in white, remember the ATS will display all text in the same color on the other end. Not only are you failing to show you’re qualified for the job, but you’re also letting recruiters know that you feel okay cheating.

Need help with your resume? Contact us today!

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