Tips for an ATS Compatible Resume

Selecting a resume format is not something to take lightly. In today’s job market having a resume that is not Applicant Tracking System (ATS) friendly can be the difference between being interviewed and never being seen. Resumes are no longer one size fits all job opportunities. Your resume is a living document that needs to adjust for every job situation. Tailoring your resume for each job submission will put your resume in the hands of the internal recruiter and not stuck in the ATS.

When you apply for a position online you are uploading your resume into the ATS. The ATS doesn’t know if you are the most qualified candidate, it only reads the information from your resume and parses out the text into a digital format that is then searchable. If your resume is not formatted correctly for the ATS that means it is not easily searchable, even if you are the perfect candidate.

Companies use ATS to help them navigate the application process, it saves time and resources by sorting the thousands of resumes into a system that is searchable by the hiring company. 99% of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems. This blog by explains how to identify which ATS system a company is using.

Save yourself money -no need for fancy formatting.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) compatible resumes must not have images, more than three columns, boarders, tables, or any other graphics. An ATS friendly resume usually has approximately 1,000 words, no sentences over 40 words long, the exact title of the role you are applying for, key words, measurable results, spells out acronyms, uses black font, font size no smaller than 10.5, is no more than three pages in length, and is a .docx instead of a .pdf.

Simple formatting is the most compatible with the ATS. If you have a fancy formatted resume send it as a .pdf to a human to read. It is a great resume to send a hiring manager with whom you are networking, or to leave behind after an in-person interview. Your fancy or creative resume has its place in your job search, just not when applying online or uploading to an ATS.

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