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Wondering Why Your Resume Never Got Shortlisted? Here Are 7 Tips To Build An ATS Friendly Resume

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software that employers and staffing agencies use to swiftly decide whether or not a candidate is suitable for a position. The process is simple, each job application submitted to a company for the desired job is automatically scanned and processed by ATS software, which then disqualifies applications that do not meet the companys requirements.

Job related specialized knowledge, certifications, and work experience are common examples of such criteria. Application will most likely be declined before it hits the hiring authority if the resume does not make it through the ATS software. Almost 75% of the applications are rejected by ATS before they even reach human eyes.

Here are 7 tricks that will make your resume ATS friendly and will help you ace that resume review test!

  • Chronological Formatting: The chronological format is the most compatible with ATS software, because it best emphasizes and organizes your work experience (from most recent to oldest).

  • Standard Headings: Popular resume headings like Work Experience and Skills are used by applicant tracking systems to organize the qualifications. ATS apps will be confused by titles like Why I am Great! As a result, do not use them.

  • Fonts: The best resume font to get past the ATS are common and easy to read. Sticking to basic fonts like Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, or Georgia will get you through it.

  • Put Keywords in Context: ATS software searches your resume for unique job-related resume keywords to see if your skills are applicable to the position. Read the job description carefully and see if it aligns with your interest and skills. Use as many keywords as possible to highlight your achievements and knowledge.

  • PDF or Doc: Some older ATS software has trouble understanding resume PDF files, however if the job posting does not specify a file format, PDF and .docx should both function well with the software.

  • Tables, columns, headers and footers should be avoided: Unfortunately, when an ATS eliminates the resumes formatting, these features can cause blunders, resulting in crucial details being distorted. In some file formats, an ATS text parser may read table content out of order and lose header information.

  • Don’t try to Trick the ATS: Since the ATS will show all text of the same colour on the other end, any tricks involving pasting keywords in white will be quickly found. And if the resume is flagged by a human recruiter, they will see that you added the whole job description or just wrote sales sales sales sales elsewhere and pass on to the next applicant as soon as possible.


  • The most critical steps in beating the ATS are customizing your resume with the right keywords and developing a quick, presentable format. An improved ATS resume keeps the application in the running for longer and improves the odds of getting an interview.

    by
    Ms. Tanya Sinha
    Intern - Human Resources
    Nicheton Consulting

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