How to create an ATS friendly resume

ATS is an acronym for applicant tracking system. Applicant Tracking System is a software used by recruiters and employers during the hiring process to collect, scan, sort and rank the job application they receive for vacant or open positions. The applicant tracking system was created for the multinational companies or corporate giants which receive an influx of thousands of job applications per week. The recruitment solution which was created for the large corporations is now a common placement tool for all companies irrespective of their size and nature. Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or resume- filtering bots operate with the goal of analyzing and organizing candidates making the hiring manager’s or placement officer’s task easy peasy, weeding out resumes which don’t fit with the robotic criteria and sensibilities

 

Working of Applicant Tracking System(ATS):

 

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) acts as a sieve for the employer or hiring manager or placement officer. It resolves the resume’s content into categories and scans for specific keywords thus deciding whether the resume is worthy enough to be passed to the recruiter. Essentially the work of the Applicant Tracking System is to comb out unqualified applicants so that the recruiter has enough time to ponder , assess and evaluate the applicants who may be more likely to be a perfect fit or match for the vacancy. ATS is proof of the fact that technology adoption is indeed the call of the hour in the placement or recruitment world as the traditional, manual methods of hiring severely affect the recruitment process as they are time-consuming, less productive and affect the efficiency of the recruitment process. On the other hand, the ATS stands out with its high-speed sourcing quality talent with maximizing the applicant reach. It helps avoid duplication of efforts and contacting the same candidates again and again. It imparts transparency and smoothness to the entire process of recruiting. It gives a competitive advantage to the consulting firms, making it obligatory for the applicants to create a bot-friendly resume to make it visible and outstanding.

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How To Write an ATS- Friendly Resume

 

The following tips help you to write an ATS–friendly resume.

 

Selection of right file type for the resume:

 

The foremost thing to select the right file type is to bear in mind that your resume has to cater to two audiences one, the robots screening the application and the live human HR who will review the resume. Choosing that file type which allows you the more creative freedom to write an appealing, attention-grabbing resume which would entice the recruiter should be requisite. It is a myth that PDF is not the most ATS-friendly file type. But the fact is that PDF files offer the best version of the design preservation and best format of your resume. But one hindrance is that it is not compatible with all the ATS software. But there lie some exceptions. Sometimes the when you are uploading the resume to the applicant tracking system, “PDF” is listed among the file types, then you can heave a breath of relief and go for the PDF version of the resume. But if there is no specification then refrain from using the same. Stay on the safer side and remain glued to the Word document in.doc or .docx. a plain text file can also be used but experts recommend the word document instead of the later. Keep a tab on the type of resume format also. Avoid functional resume formats at all costs and go with the hybrid resume format. A hybrid resume also is known as the combination resume is a combination of both chronological and functional information into one format. It includes professional summary and “areas of expertise” or “core competencies” section at the top of the resume, outlining your key qualifications, skill sets, and achievements and a chronological section that puts these attractive points into perspective, how you leveraged these skills with each role and you were able to accomplish. Since most of the applicant tracking systems rely on chronological data to analyze your application, choosing the resume format is the wisest and safe decision. Also, this format enables you to clearly support your skillset linking each qualification with the specific position served within the professional history.

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Avoid piling important details in the header or footer:

 

Refrain from putting the important details in the header or footer as not all applicant tracking systems are able to read and analyze the information stored in the header and footer sections of the word document. If the applicant has recently graduated from the college, encash on your new degree by placing it towards the top of your resume. But if you are not a fresher and have relevant work experience, the relevant work experience should take the lead followed by the education and professional development activities at the bottom of the resume.

 

Avoid unending bullets:

 

The bullet points are a great method to highlight the selling points but refrain from overdoing it. Stick to simplest bullet options like the open circle, solid circle or square to ensure that they enhance your resume rather than making it incompatible with the ATS. The easiest way to highlight your relevant achievements and qualifications is to document the work experience by dedicating few catchy lines describing your role and responsibilities and then use bullet points to grab the attention to your noteworthy accomplishments and qualifications.

 

Optimization of resume with keywords:

 

The creation of ATS optimized resume requires a well-thought frequency and strategical placement of the keywords throughout your resume. Some applicant tracking systems determine the strength of your skills based on the frequency of the keywords in your resume, whilst some assign an estimated amount of experience for a particular skill based on its placement. Play safe by optimizing your resume keeping both systems in mind.  Also, avoid using images, graphics and charts as resumes with these embedded messages will get weeded out as ATS will be unable to read it. The result should be an ATS compatible resume.

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Check out the following websites for dedicated resume writing services:

Resume Writers

Resumes Planet

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