What’s An ATS-Friendly Resume? And How To Write One

Every action, including looking for work, is being diminished significantly. You must have an ATS-friendly resume if you want to remain competitive in the contemporary employment market.

The term “application tracking system” is abbreviated as “ATS.”This piece of software automates the tracking, evaluation, and hiring of job applications, saving firms time and money.

Most people don’t give their resume any thought after submitting it. Typically, ATS databases do this instantly.

When determining your suitability for the job, the ATS then scans your resume for certain phrases. The application tracking system (ATS) uses this information to rate applicants and compile a shortlist of the most qualified candidates.

To increase your chances of finding employment, this article discusses applicant tracking systems, how they operate, and how to write a resume that will pass their screening criteria.

Key Deliverables Of An ATS-Friendly Resume

Because the software will read an ATS resume, readability is crucial (scan).

The keyword-focused ATS examines applications to see if they satisfy the company’s requirements.

An ATS resume has a simple typeface, layout, and labeling rather than complex formatting.

The ATS (Applicant Tracking System) aids recruiters in conducting hiring processes by assisting them in finding qualified candidates.

The applicant tracking system (ATS) evaluates resumes and assigns them a score based on the recruiter’s established standards.

A job offer could be a benchmark for your resume, even if you’ll never know a recruiter’s selection criteria.

Always utilize an ATS-friendly resume template and customize it for the position you’re looking for.

What Does ATS Means?

With applicant tracking systems, or ATSs—a subset of resume scanning software—employers and recruiters compile, categorize, scan, and score the applications they receive for open positions.

The original applicant tracking systems were developed for large firms that were accustomed to handling up to 1,000 new job applications per week.

Virtually all Fortune 500 companies utilize ATS software to speed up hiring. However, what used to be a normal tool for organizations of all sizes has replaced what was formerly a hiring option for large corporations.

What Is ATS Friendly CV?

A resume compliant with applicant tracking systems (ATS) has been formatted so the system can easily parse it.

Scanning is made to be rapid and easy throughout the entire system. ATS-friendly resumes highlight a wealth of work experience, educational accomplishments, and the essential phrases from the job description.


Write it as a summary rather than a comprehensive statement if you were in charge of overseeing sponsored links and enhancing the firm website for search engines like Google.

There was a reference to “Responsibilities: SEO, SEM, AdWords.” This method will be easy for ATS systems and recruiters to understand.

Consider highlighting in your resume the fact that you are proficient in graphic design software.

For example, “Skills: Photoshop, AutoCAD, Gimp” is a good way to list your program knowledge.

How Does ATS Operate?

Application tracking systems search incoming resumes for available openings based on the targeted keywords the company has selected.

The system classifies and rates each resume according to its use of predefined keywords.

ATS disqualifies resumes with too few relevant keywords or with poor user-friendliness. If the examination of your resume by a recruiter or hiring manager throughout this process is favorable, they will likely move you on to the next hiring stage.

At this point, there are typically fewer applications available, giving hiring managers more time to assess each candidate thoroughly.

How To Start Writing A Résumé That Works Well With ATS?

Anyone looking for a job should strive to create an ATS resume that stands out to the hiring manager because this is what businesses want to see. If you want to learn how to get past applicant tracking systems, your resume needs to be concise and loaded with keywords.

Never make up a story about your experience to trick the bots. You want the hiring manager to be impressed by your skills and experience when they read your resume rather than be turned off by your overuse of buzzwords.

You must be mindful of a few potential mistakes that applicant tracking systems might miss while writing an ATS-compliant resume. Follow the following advice to get your resume on the proper track to prevent this:

The most effective resume file format

Even though PDF does a fantastic job of preserving file data without compromising the integrity of the document, ATS might not always be compatible with it. While tracking software is available in various formats, not all accept PDFs.

Before uploading, ensure your resume is in one of the file types on the list. ATS programs best maintain the form and design of your resume template.

If you are asked to upload your resume to a candidate tracking system, and “PDF” is one of the file types you can use, kindly send a PDF version of your resume.

If the system doesn’t specify which file types are supported, only use Word files in the.doc or.docx formats. Plain-text resume files are nonetheless extremely ATS-friendly despite the limited formatting options.

Since the finest resume templates are made with two audiences in mind—ATS programs and the live human in HR who will review the content of your resume—use a Word document rather than a plain-text file when constructing your resume.

A more creative licence is allowed when producing a CV that will capture the attention of a hiring manager or recruiter.

Consider using keyword optimization.

  • The ATS will search for particular keywords that the employer has specified. Resumes are frequently rejected if they lack them.
  • Examining the job description that is included in the listing is one of the greatest ways to decide what keywords you can employ. Look for words specific to a certain profession that the author has used frequently throughout the essay. Copy the job description and paste it into a free application that analyses word frequency to find the words frequently used throughout the roles you are interested in.
  • Describe the words in your resume about whether you are qualified for the position or have the required skills. A keyword should be highlighted in your resume more heavily the more popular it is. Use only as many of these keywords as are required; avoid overusing them. While still reading naturally and precisely, ATS resumes should be optimised with precise, pertinent wording.
  • You need to consider the placement and repetition of these crucial keywords throughout your document to produce an ATS-optimised resume. Use the phrase 2–3 times total throughout your resume.
  • Some applicant tracking systems (ATS) base their assessment of your skill level on the frequency of a term appearing in your resume, whereas others base it on where the term appears. Your resume must be optimized for each of these platforms in order to fully integrate with any ATS.
  • Some application tracking systems will connect your experience with the duration of the skill based on how long you held the position where it was used. If you indicated that you were in charge of the organization’s SEO and that you spent five years there, the ATS would presume you have five years of SEO experience.
  • The ATS scan will assign six months of experience to a talent when experience is specifically specified, such as in a core competencies section or professional description. As a result, it’s crucial to emphasize your skills across the entire resume rather than just in the section at the top of the ATS resume template specifically for them.

Use a template for a resume that is ATS-compatible.

Many job seekers polish their resumes to set themselves apart from rival applications. But resumes featuring graphics, tables, or strange fonts are difficult for ATS software to understand.

Use an ATS-friendly resume template to prevent your resume from being disregarded by applicant tracking systems.

Many websites that provide information for the job market claim that their resume templates are ATS-compatible. However, we did test a few different templates on the ATS software used by companies like Meta and Microsoft.

Resume templates that work with candidate tracking systems (ATS) are developed to assist with these steps. Even if you adhere to best practices and include the appropriate keywords in your resume, you can still fall short of the standards set by the ATS.

These programs read the content of your resume and pull out relevant information to import into a profile.

Using a template will help you steer clear of making the same mistakes. With ATS in mind, some pre-formatted templates organise information into categories using the most common keywords, making the whole thing easier to read.

ATS-compatible typefaces should be used.

The ATS can use any font as long as it is plain and easy to read. There are many of them; only a few of them are Georgia, Arial, Calibri, Cambria, and Cambria.

Ultimately, it will depend on your style, but the font size should be between 10 and 12 points. When every typeface is set to the same point size, for instance, the comparison looks like this:

Leave out the complex resume design.

A resume should not use sophisticated formatting, which is almost a summary of the previous suggestions.

In just a few seconds, an applicant tracking system (ATS) will scan your résumé. The ATS accepts a brief résumé. You must make some of these adjustments when writing your resume for an ATS.

For instance, most ATS is not capable of consistently reading and comprehending content in the header and footer, frequently where users will place their contact information.

ATS-friendly resume formats should be used.

When sending resumes for openings, job seekers often choose one of three formats. Because it is readable and organises your career history from most current to oldest, a chronological resume is the one that performs best with ATS software.

Use a chronological resume structure if your work history is stable and free of significant gaps in employment or career changes.

Refrain from employing graphs, charts, and images.

The ATS cannot comprehend graphics like pictures, graphs, or charts. While resumes with connected photographs have the potential to be more visually appealing, the applicant tracking system either completely ignores them or treats them poorly once they have been examined.

For example, an image or graphic you use to emphasise your key skills won’t be understood by the ATS resume scanner. To demonstrate their degree of experience in diverse fields, some applicants use charts and tables.

Only if it also appears in writing somewhere else will an ATS be able to record that information. If at all possible, stay away from these when selecting or developing an ATS resume template.

Be sure to use straightforward bullet points.

When used properly, a resume’s bullet points can be a powerful tool for showcasing qualifications and achievements.

But if you select a complicated symbol for your bullets, your major selling points can get lost. Avoid using challenging characters if you’re generating a bulleted list in your ATS-compliant resume template.

To guarantee that your bullet points improve rather than hinder your resume’s ability to be read by an ATS, stick to the most simple possibilities, such as a solid circle, open circle, or square.

When structuring your resume, avoid the following:

Most formatting is removed from resumes before they are added to ATS databases. Because the plain text is simpler for the ATS to read and understand, this is the case. The following formatting methods need to be avoided since they could fool the ATS:

Use neither tables nor columns. The ATS may help organize and beautify your data, but they also have the potential to muddle it.

Not to be used as headers or footers. These can make it challenging for the ATS to process your data properly.

You shouldn’t use meaningless or ostentatious symbols, images, or graphics. Again, keep it straightforward to prevent confusing the ATS.

You shouldn’t use particularly imaginative or exotic titles for your sections. To avoid confusing the applicant tracking system (ATS), use titles like “Work Experience” or “Education.”

These techniques will enable you to produce ATS-friendly resumes that stand a decent chance of making it past the ATS system and into the clutches of a prospective employer.

ATS Friendly CV Example

Here’s an example of an ATS-friendly CV:

John Doe

123 Main Street

London, UK

[email protected]

+44 1234 567890

Objective: To obtain a challenging position in the field of marketing that utilizes my skills and experience.

Professional Summary:

  • 5+ years of experience in digital marketing
  • Proficient in SEO, PPC, and social media marketing
  • Skilled in Google Analytics and AdWords
  • Proven track record of increasing website traffic and sales


  • Bachelor of Arts in Marketing, the University of London, 2015-2019
  • Google AdWords certification, 2019

Professional Experience:

Digital Marketing Specialist, ABC Company, London, 2019-Present

  • Develop and implement digital marketing campaigns
  • Monitor and analyze website traffic and social media engagement
  • Create and manage PPC campaigns on Google and social media platforms
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to optimize marketing efforts

Marketing Intern, XYZ Company, London, 2018-2019

  • Assisted in the creation and implementation of marketing campaigns
  • Conducted market research and analyzed data
  • Contributed to the development of social media content
  • Assisted in event planning and execution.


  • Proficient in SEO, PPC, and social media marketing
  • Skilled in Google Analytics and AdWords
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills
  • Detail-oriented and highly organized

References are available upon request.

Note: To make your CV ATS-friendly, use simple formatting, avoid using images or tables, and use standard fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri.


Since ATS resumes are more likely to show up in search results, your chances of being discovered by a hiring manager increase. In today’s cutthroat job market, an ATS resume can provide you with the advantage you need.

If you’re looking for work, it’s vital that you know how the applicant tracking system (ATS), a significant component of the hiring process, functions.

If you are unfamiliar with how an ATS functions, many of the resumes you upload could disappear. With an ATS-friendly resume, you’ll have much more success getting a job interview.

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