Technology | 6Min Read

6 Steps to Make ATS Friendly Resume [ATS Resume System]

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What Have We Covered?

Nowadays, the ATS resume is not necessary; it has become a necessity for candidates and recruiters. Thus, want to create a resume implementing ATS resume system but engaging with plenty of questions, such as:

  • What is an ATS Resume?

  • How to Make Your Resume ATS Friendly?

  • What are the things to take care of an ATS compliant resume?

  • What are the points that should ATS resume optimization?

If yes, then continue reading this blog 6 Steps to Make ATS Friendly Resume [ATS Resume System]

Do you apply to different jobs but rarely get a response? Are you unsure about your applications passing through the resume system and into human hands? Well, these aren't mere thoughts but the truth. Did you know? 75% of resumes fail to reach recruiters. The reason is that these can't be read by the resume screening software.

Resumes Fail

What is an ATS Resume System? [Definition of ATS Friendly Resume]

Applicant Tracking System also known as the resume screening software facilitates e-recruitment. In short, ATS are bots that act like strainers. The resumes that fit best get past them while the rest remain at the surface. This is known as an ats friendly resume and ATS resume system.

How to Make Your Resume ATS Friendly?
[6 Steps for ATS Resume]

With the growing use of technology currently, there are high chances of your resume passing through a resume system. Unfortunately, if your resume isn't ATS-friendly not as per the ATS resume system, you're doomed as it might get lost in the filtering process. Then, even if you're the perfect fit for the job it will leave you to question your capabilities.

So how does ATS function? ATS uses algorithms that help in matching keywords to filter out the preferred candidates. Making an ATS-friendly resume may seem hard but don't worry! We have got your back. Just follow the simple steps below to make an ATS-friendly resume.

Step #1: The ATS resume system demands relevancy

The very first step to passing the ATS resume system's scrutiny is to apply for the right job. What does the right job mean? It means you should possess the qualifications and skills for the job role in question. For instance, if you have an HR background and seek an entry-level position do not apply to the finance or IT jobs for the same post.

Some jobs are technical. If you apply to all the jobs you come across, it would seem that you're unaware of your skills or interests. Rejection is likely in such circumstances. You need to possess the core skills. If not so, you would waste your time as the resume system will stop your resume from passing through.

Furthermore, be careful about the positions you apply for. If you're a fresh graduate with no experience, applying for a managerial post would be illogical. You would never make it to the end so act wisely.

Warning: Avoid applying to every vacancy at the same company, the resume system keeps a record.

It would result in a negative impression of you. You cannot fit every position. The ATS resume system tracks and records all entries. Wouldn't the recruiter think you're just applying for the sake of it?

4 Secrets to Make an ATS-Friendly Resume

It is critical to beware of your expertise. if you apply to different openings at the same time for roles that are poles apart you would be rejected. It doesn't mean you cannot apply to any other vacancy you feel fit for. Do that but then tailor your resume accordingly.

Step #2: The ATS resume system is on a keyword hunt

Do not use your resumes as flyers that you throw at every job opening. Instead, customize them for every job application. Wouldn't that be time-consuming? No, it won't be. For this, simply replace the words in your resume with the synonymous keywords in job ads. ATS resume system is a robot. It will operate exactly as ordered.

Following the set criteria, it will accept the resumes containing matching keywords and reject others. So, even if you're eligible for a job but your resume lacks the right keywords, it is useless. After all, the ATS resume system is a keyword hunter.

Step #3: Area of focus for the ATS resume system to select you

If you're confused about how to match the exact keywords, read the job description carefully. Focus more on the resume system skills that the ATS will identify.

These are the skills that are commonly used in the resume, such as technical expertise, and hard and soft skills. Also, be attentive to any action verbs and avoid using vague keywords for the resume system to understand itself. Instead, pick the hints from the job descriptions and mirror the exact phrases or keywords mentioned.


Do not risk using synonyms or acronyms because the resume screening software may not grab what you have mentioned. To play safe, write the full forms along with the acronyms in the brackets. For example: "search engine optimization (SEO)."

Here is how you can automate the keyword search for the resume system

  • So another way to identify the keywords is by using keyword detection tools like resume worded and jobscan. These tools identify the keywords in your job descriptions automatically.

  • How? For this, copy your resume to a plain text document then upload it on one of these sites. Next, paste your job description. Done! The scanner will match the two and highlight what keywords your resume is missing.

  • Just remember, keywords are the game-changers. But don't stuff them unnecessarily. It is crucial to relate the keywords with your achievements for uniqueness. Anyone and everyone will insert keywords, so be different and brag about your achievements.

Step #4: Use the right file type for the ATS resume system to recognize

In most cases, recruiters specify the file type they need for your resumes. But if not so, make sure you choose DOCX or DOC file type. Why? While PDF file type is good at preserving design and format, mostly it is resume system unfriendly but, a DOCX or plain file type is.

Currently, there are new ATS resume versions that require PDF files. But that's fine. Recruiters are kind enough to specify what they need.

Beginners guide resume parsing and its relevance to recruiter

Step #5: Add information that is easy to process for the ATS resume system

ATS Resume systems work like humans when processing information. So, make sure you have a proper format. Choose from the three types of resume formats that are chronological, combination, or functional. Try to avoid the functional resume unless required, as it isn't ATS compliant. Furthermore, separate your text by expected headings such as work experience, education, etc., so the information is easy to find. Your resume should be human friendly to read. If it is, then ATS too will pick it well.


It is important to note that your contact details should not be added in the header or footer as the ATS is unable to parse that information. A Study proves, 25% of the time ATS fails to identify a part of jobseekers' contact details. It means employers may like your resume but would be unable to contact you. Chances of selection? All gone!

Step #6: The ATS-friendly resume system isn't fond of fancy formatting

Your resume needs to be professional. It is not an art project. Avoid using fancy templates with different colours, logos, charts, graphics, etc. Instead, make sure to use simpler ones. Using fancy templates confuses the ATS as they aren't formatted to scan the creativity. Just give them the ATS resume format that is standardized, and you're eligible to proceed to the next stages.

Here are some examples of decent resume templates.

Moreover, use bullet points to emphasize your achievements. But also be careful and do not overuse them, so they remain prominent. Also, use one font colour or a maximum of two that do not cause eye strains. Your font size also should be readable, ranging from 11-12 for the body and 13-14 for the headers. Lastly, separate each section with bold text.

It is as simple as that. Let your resume speak for you. Don't put extra effort into useless decoration.

ATS is looking for the same that a human looks for so, even if your resume is not passing through any resume system, you're safe from rejection.

Take Notes to Meet the ATS Friendly Resume System Criteria

To summarize, here is what mistakes the resume supporting ATS system wants you to avoid:

  • Attaching photos: this creates unfairness, so the recruiters discourage it unless integral to the job. Did you know? 88% of resumes are rejected when photos are attached to them.

  • Unorganized dates: when mentioning different job experiences, it is vital to check that the dates are not clashing and are correct. Do not be careless and recheck the dates before resume submission.

  • Writing objective statement: do not use the term objective as this tells more about what you want from the job and not what you can give. It is old school. Currently, a professional summary┬áis in use that provides teasers about the rest of the resume.

  • Adding references: do not add references if not asked or write, can be provided upon request. If you want the job, you will have to give the references later, no doubt.

  • Multiple contact numbers: add one or a maximum of two contact numbers that are in use. Do not make the recruiters decide where to contact you.

  • Unprofessional email address: it is a big turn off. Do not attach the email address that you made in grade 6 instead make a professional id.

  • Spelling and grammatical mistakes: what good is your resume if you can not write correctly? Check the spelling or other errors thoroughly as 40% of employers reject resumes with spelling mistakes.

Spelling and grammatical mistakes
Lengthy resume

Check your resumes for these mistakes and correct them to pass through the resume systems. Who knows which dream job you might land after this? Good luck!

Final Thought about ATS Friendly Resume System

Yes, creating an ats-friendly resume using the ATS resume system seems like you have to go through a heap of processes, and that is the fact. But, another thing is that the ats friendly resume is also beneficial, even if your resume is not going through an ATS.

Thus, we can say that the ATS seeking a resume is almost like a person is scanning. If you really want to reach your resume on the desk of the recruiter, then make the resume that beats the ats system. Moreover, the ats friendly resume will impress the human being too.

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