How to make an ATS-Friendly Resume in 2021

You are ready to apply and get the job of your dreams! You work hard on your resume. You apply to multiple open positions with confidence. But the hiring manager never sees your resume. Why? Because ATS has filtered your resume. Getting the rejections can be pretty depressing for an individual especially early age of your professional career. What is ATS? How to make an ATS-friendly resume? Below are some handy resume building tips to beat the ATS.

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Did you know that 75% of applicants are disqualified by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) before a hiring manager reads their resume?

CareerSkillz resume building tips

What is ATS (Application Tracking System)?

Let me tell you what ATS is in simple language. When you apply for any open positions, your resume will not be read by a recruiter or hiring manager until it is read, parsed, and classified(Skills, Experience, Education, and Certifications) by a robotic process commonly used in recruiting industry. Once it classifies your resume then it will be read by a recruiter or hiring manager if your resume match score with their open position is higher end.

In short, keep in mind that we have to impress the following three audiences before landing the interview.

ATS Friendly Resume Building Tips for 2021

Here are some resume building tips to beat the ATS. We will cover each item in detail in upcoming blogs and in webinars but this is good to start with.

  1. Your contact information should appear in your resume in the FIRST place.
  2. A resume should include always include both an email address and a phone number.
  3. Avoid Headers and Footer along with Page numbers. It’s a good fit for paper resumes but ATS gets confused with these.
  4. Do not use any graphics to represent any text information. Graphics does not get converted to text easily and it’s a big mistake.
  5. ATS really does not care about Bold, Italic, Underlines, Colors as everything gets converted to text before parsing.
  6. ATS can not read the text placed in TextBoxes. So avoid using fields in Microsoft Word/PDF.
  7. Your photo is not necessary on your resume unless you are from the modeling industry or graphic designer.
  8. Organize your Experience and Education from most recent to oldest.
  9. Make sure you add at least the start date for Experience and Education along with the company/school name. It’s really important for ATS to calculate some internal important metrics.
  10. Never add the full address of your employer or school. You should add only City and State.
  11. Do you think adding a list of references to your resume will add weight? NO, they will not. Once you complete the interview process and some wants to hire you they will ask for references.
  12. Separate skills sections or tables should be avoided instead add individual skills as part of the Objective, Professional Summary, Employment History, Education sections. New generation ATS is based on Artificial Intelligence and they are smart enough to find the skills and calculate your experience in months or years for a particular skill in your resume.
  13. Avoid using tables or multi-column tables to represent your skills, education, or experience. Tables are good for humans to read your data.
  14. Make sure you capitalize your name, employer, job title, school names, degree names, locations, etc. Avoid using all capital words in these sections.
  15. Resume sections should be clearly separated and should start with the header like Objective, Education, Professional Summary, Employment History, Certifications, etc.
  16. Use blank lines between the sections to keep them separate.
  17. Combining multiple sections into a single section is a big NO to ATS. It’s a robotic process and will not understand what you want to say and will reject your resume right away.
  18. Add company name for each job title, it does not matter if you have multiple job titles for the same company. Add company name for each work history item you are listing in your work history.
  19. The date range should be present for each job time even if it’s multiple positions with the same company. Do not add them as a nested list.
  20. Do not include personal information in a resume like driving license, passport number, etc.
  21. Using an ATS-Friendly resume is the key to make the robotic process feel good about you.

Resumes with a lot of graphic elements, tables, or unique fonts, colors, missing data are difficult for ATS to know about you and it will not pass your resume to land an interview.

How to know your resume is ATS-Friendly?

CareerSkillz is here to help you, simply register with CareerSkillz by uploading your resume and our ATS simulator will read your resume and will send you an email in the next 24 hours about the findings and suggestions.