3 Ways to Optimize Your Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems


Today, the use of applicant tracking systems (ATS) is growing incredibly popular. Companies of all shapes and sizes are using them to help manage candidates, vet resumes, and keep everything organized when it comes to hiring.

When submitting a resume, it will need to pass through this system before actually getting seen by human eyes. As a result, you need to optimize your resume to make sure it passes through the filters and isn’t discarded immediately.

With that in mind, this blog post is going to cover a few ways to optimize your resume to ensure it gets past these applicant tracking systems.

Use the Right Keywords


Arguably the most important part of optimizing your resume for ATS is using the right keywords. Many of these ATS are set up in a way that passes resumes through that contain the right content and denies those that don’t.

As a result, even if your resume and background are the perfect fit for a position, a resume lacking the proper keywords can hold you back from ever getting an interview. If you’re not sure which keywords to include, there are a few things you can do. First and foremost, you can use a keyword optimization tool to learn the best keywords to make sure you include.

Another option is to take a close look at the job posting or job description and see the kind of words and terminology being used there. Using many of the same words in your resume that are found there can be a great way to ensure your resume content is relevant for what the company is looking for.

Keep Formatting Simple

Next, you want to make sure that your resume format is simple. It should not only be easy for humans to skim through and scan but also for the tool. Be careful with adding things like tables, headers and footers, graphics, logos, text boxes, and more. You should make sure the resume looks clean but is also very basic in nature.

If you try to get too fancy, it can end up doing more harm than good. While creative resumes can work well in some fields, it is often a better idea to keep things simple and traditional to make sure you are confusing these systems or throwing them for a loop.

Edit the Resume For Spelling or Grammar Issues

While editing your resume is always important, this is especially true if you think it will be passing through an ATS. A person viewing your resume might know what you meant even with a spelling error, but the same cannot be said for tools like an ATS.

If there are errors, they will be red flags in the system and could hold back your resume from ever being seen. Always go through each line of content with a fine-toothed comb to make sure all is well and there are no misspellings or sections that don’t make sense grammatically.

There are many common resume spelling mistakes you can make, so take your time to avoid them if you want to play nicely with the ATS.

In conclusion, these are some great ways to help ensure your resume is optimized for the applicant tracking systems that companies may have in place.


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