Writing an Applicant Tracking System-Friendly Resume

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Writing an Applicant Tracking System-Friendly Resume

Nowadays, job searching is already automated. The applicants do not need to literally go to every office to apply personally. Searching for a job has never been convenient for what we have now. With the help of job posting sites, applicants can apply for free in different positions, in different companies with just a click. Hence, the moment you submit your resume on a job board, the applicant tracking system scans and sorts your resume, before it reaches the human hands.

Many companies are shifting from traditional in-office applications to the full-online application for convenience and efficiency in the recruitment process. Due to the high volume of applications for specific and different positions, a job board software with a built-in applicant tracking system and CRM software like Supreme Hiring is the best choice for employers.
How about the applicants? Supreme Hiring has come up with tips for writing an ATS-friendly resume. By following these pieces of advice, we guarantee you that you’ll be part of the shortlist, land an interview, and eventually get hired for your dream job. Writing an ATS-friendly resume will not just outsmart the ATS but it will definitely impress your future employer.

Apply when you are qualified

ATS in staffing software are called “robots” because they are programmed to accept only the values encoded in their system. Research shows that only 25% of the total number of applications pass the ATS for a certain job posting. This does not mean that only a few are applying but because only a few qualify for the job. Thus, as an applicant, apply only for the jobs that you are qualified for, especially in terms of the degree, experience, and skills required. Once the ATS software receives your resume, all information in it is processed and if you are not a match, your resume will be automatically discarded. For example, if the job posting states that it is looking for an accounting position and you are into fine arts, it is just fair to discard your application because you are surely not qualified for the position. You do not need to be the perfect match like for example for an administrative assistant position, many degrees are qualified for this position as long as you have the core skills for the position. Thus, you can apply and the ATS will accept your application. This is done so that both you and the employer won’t waste time going over your resume.

Use and search the right keywords

The hiring software “reads” your resume. The algorithms of the ATS are not that different from human algorithms. Like human eyes and brain, it scans, skim,s and processes information. Choosing the right keyword in the content of your resume is important. The applicant tracking software is accurate in scanning resumes. Hence, you should make sure that the right keyword is there to have a higher chance to be included in the qualified applicants. It also makes your resume easier to find and match in a certain job post. Keywords narrow the applicant pool. The employers set the keywords for each job posting. The chosen keywords are usually words connected to the job that could narrow down the results. It is very easy to be found by the ATS and land in the first few pages of the search result on the job board. Search the keyword that is most associated with the position you are applying for like if you are applying for a content writer, the keywords that should be in your resume are content writer, creative writing, English language, copywriting, SEO, and other words that could be connected to the skills, degrees or software needed in content writing.

Contextualize your keywords


Now we know that using the right keywords is important to come up with an ATS-friendly resume, the right keyword alone is not a guarantee. The most common mistakes committed by applicants are the wrong contextualization of the keywords. Thus, the ATS still discards their application. Listing the key skill or experience makes your resume recognizable in the applicant tracking system. You may be shortlisted because the keywords you have in your resume are a perfect match for the job but remember, at the end, it is still humans who have the final say. Employers and recruiters will interpret and validate the information you put in your resume. Matching the keyword but not matching the core skills and specific requirements of the job will still leave you rejected. Do not just put keywords but instead use them in showing what you’ve got like your achievements. Once recruiters see your resume, they can say that you have the skill and you also know what to do with it.

Upload the right file type

Microsoft Word (Document) and Portable Document Format (PDF) are the most common file types uploaded in the hiring software. Both of them are accepted in most job board software. PDFs keep your file format intact but it is often misread by the ATS as .jpg or .png, depending on the builder. MS Word or the .docx is still preferred as this is accurately scanned by the ATS. However, it really depends as different job posting sites used by employers have different requirements. If it asked for a specific file type, then follow the instructions. The best job posting websites have resume builders that automatically generate resumes. If you do not have any software to write your resume, you can use Google Docs for free. You can save it in different formats and all you need is a Google Account.

Make your Resume Scan-friendly

As much as you want an attractive and unique format for your resume, ATS has limited capacities in recognizing data in your resume. Your resume should be in a readable form. Your resume is not just scanned by ATS but also humans. Follow the left to right and top to bottom order of information. Your name should always be on top together with your contact number and email. Refrain from using tables, instead, make use of bullets. Be organized in providing your information like for experiences and education, arrange it in chronological order. The order of every detail in your resume reflects your professional skills and progression. Your resume is your first impression to the recruiters and as they say “the first impression lasts”. Ergo, start great with your resume.

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