Are you looking for a new job? Or do you want to stand out in the crowd and showcase your talents to a potential employer? Writing an ATS-friendly resume is key to achieving these goals. After all, getting past the filter process of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can be tiresome and time-consuming.
But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Read on to learn all the tips for resume writing and everything you need to know about writing a great ATS-friendly resume.
What is an ATS?
ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System. It is software used by many hiring managers to screen resumes as they browse through applications. Unless you’re applying for a role that involves an extensive hiring process, you will need to learn how to get past an ATS test to be considered for the job. But passing an ATS screening test is no easy task.
As an applicant, you will have to be filtered through hundreds of candidates to find your perfect match, and many Applicant Tracking Systems make the process more difficult than it originally needs to be. So, it is important that you know how to make an ATS-friendly resume.
Also, Read Top 10 Things Recruiters Look for in a Resume.
Watch 3 Steps to Create a Professional Resume
Why is a Great Resume Important?
First of all, what makes a resume great? The answer is simple: it’s the only thing employers see first. Your resume is what they will see when they open your application. It is the first thing they are going to read. If they don’t like what they see, hiring managers may either toss your application in the “no” pile. Or worse, mark you as a spammer.
So, to make a great resume, you need to create it in such a way that it gets past ATS. For example, your resume should be concise and easy to read. As we mentioned above, hiring managers will only have a few seconds to decide whether to read your resume or not. So, if they don’t get what they need from your resume, they will turn to the next one. So, make sure that your resume is relevant and straightforward, containing only information that is relevant to each specific job listing.
How to Write an ATS-Friendly Resume
When it comes to writing an ATS-friendly resume, many people get caught up in their formatting. Rather than focusing on the content, they get hung up on the font, font colour, font size, and other formatting choices that are not important when writing a resume. So, let’s focus on the content first, and then we will talk about formatting. Here are the areas you should focus on in revising your resume for an ATS:
Use Bullet Points
It is safe to assume that your resume will end up in an electronic format. And electronic formats are notorious for being difficult to read. In these formats, your resume will be viewed on a computer screen. So, you have to make it easy to read. The golden rule when making such resumes is to keep sentences between one and two sentences long and arrange them in bullet points.
Use Action Verbs
The best way to improve the readability of your resume for an ATS is to use more action verbs. Action verbs are powerful and convey information quickly. They help recruiters in having a clear, accurate mental image of the job applicant performing the activity rather than simply reading the resume.
Choose Professional Words
In addition to using action verbs, you should also be sure to use words that are commonly associated with the career field you are applying for. For example, if you are applying to be a teacher, you should use words like “discipline,” “curriculum,” and “lesson plan.” This will help your resume to jump out at the reader and encourage a faster read.
Keep Your Resume Under One Page
You want to keep your resume as brief as possible. Even though most Applicant Tracking Systems only allow for three pages per application, you may have to start your application on a different paper. So, you want to keep things as brief as possible.
Read through Job Listings for Keywords
As you read through job descriptions, you can use a pen to underline the keywords you find in each listing. You can also take a quick note of any key phrases you see in the job description. Keywords and key phrases will help you to customize your resume for each employer. And it is important to note that the more keywords you include, the less readable your resume will be. However, if you want to stand out, a resume with a reasonable number of relevant keywords is often the best way to go.
Update Your Resume Using Keywords
Now that you have a list of keywords you can use in your resume, it is time to make your changes. Start by using your list of keywords to make a list of section headers for your resume.
Next, you want to add keywords to the section headers on your resume where you can.
If we wanted to include the word “discipline” in our resume, we would add the following line to the Discipline section header on our resume:
Discipline – I was able to show my students how to follow the rules and work hard by completing my work on time and to the best of my ability.
Don’t Just List Your Job Duties
Your resume is not just a list of job duties. It is also a chance to show how you fit into the company culture, what skills you will bring to the position, and how your personality will fit in with the rest of the team.
For example, if you are applying for a marketing job, don’t just list your marketing experience. Instead, write about how you were able to take a small venture and grow it into a successful business. Similarly, if you are applying to work at a small law firm, don’t just focus on the duties of an entry-level employee. Instead, write about how you helped to manage a complicated project.
Pick an Easy-to-read ATS Resume Template
There are hundreds of resume templates available on the internet. But not all resume templates are created equal. So, before you start tacking down your own resume template, consider these questions:
- How easy is it to edit and read?
- Is it well-organized?
- Does it follow the ATS-friendly guidelines we have just outlined?
- Does it have a template that makes it easy to add a new section?
- Does it have a clear layout?
- Which resume templates are the most popular that have positive reviews?
Your resume is your opportunity to show an employer that you are the right fit for the job and what you can do for the company. So, make sure you have a suitable answer for all these questions before choosing a template.
It is your chance to showcase your talents, skills, and your abilities. And that is exactly why it is so important to make a resume easy to read and easy to update. Your resume should be no longer than one or two pages, and it should not take more than one minute to read. It should be easy to understand, and it should be easy to update when it is your time to change jobs. It should be a reflection of yourself and the kind of person you want to be.
- An endless and tedious wait for your resume to show up in the system.
- Receiving a flood of rejections before your resume makes it through the system at all.
- Being filtered out before your resume even shows up in the system at all.
Besides these problems, what if your resume gets rejected for its low quality? While there is no way out for the first three problems, one can easily solve the quality issue of a resume by using a resume builder like EZResume to get a supreme-quality resume.