How To Optimize Your Resume For An Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Many companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to manage their recruitment process. Applicant tracking systems search resumes and job applications for keywords and other relevant information, in order to identify the best candidates to fill a position. This is why tailoring your resume for an ATS is very important! To do this, you may need to tweak the wording of your resume, use relevant keywords, and highlight relevant skills and experiences that match the job description.

By tailoring your resume for an ATS, you increase your chances of getting past the initial screening process and being selected for an interview. This is because the ATS software will be more likely to identify you as a qualified candidate who matches the job requirements.

It's important to note that while tailoring your resume for an ATS can improve your chances of getting an interview, it's equally important to ensure that your resume is also visually appealing and well-written for human recruiters who may also review your application.

Below are tips that will help you tailor your resume for an ATS:

1. Find relevant keywords in the job description that describe the skills, qualifications, and experience that the employer is looking for. Use these keywords in the summary, work experience, and skills sections of your resume in a natural way.

2. Format your resume in a simple, clean, and standard format, such as Word or PDF. Do not use fancy fonts, graphics, images, tables, headers, footers, lines, or symbols (bullet points are okay). Finally, do not try to “trick the system” by adding hidden or white text.

3. When tailoring your resume, emphasize the skills and experience you have that are most relevant to the job you're applying for. Showcase your ability to do the job using specific examples and achievements under that particular experience.

4. Avoid using technical terms or jargon that the ATS may not understand. Instead, use simple, clear, and concise language to describe your skills, experiences, and achievements.

Examples of acronyms you should spell out : 

SEO =  Search Engine Optimization
R&D = Research and Development 
TA = Teaching Assistant 
CRM = Customer Relationship Management 

5. Ensure that your resume is consistent in terms of formatting and content. So, use consistent job titles, dates (write out months and years), and bullet points.

6. Save your resume with a clear and concise filename that includes your name and the job title, such as "[FirstName][LastName]-EngineerResume".

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