Top Tips for Writing an ATS-Friendly Resume in 2024

A graphic of resumes filtering through an icon that says ATS to symbolize applicant tracking software

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have revolutionized the hiring process, allowing employers to efficiently sort through hundreds of resumes to identify qualified candidates.

These systems filter resumes based on specific keywords, skills, and other criteria, making it imperative for job seekers to optimize their resumes for ATS.

An ATS-friendly resume increases the chances of your application reaching the hands of a hiring manager, thereby significantly boosting your employment prospects.

What is ATS (Applicant Tracking Software)?

Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) is a type of software used by employers during the hiring process to collect, sort, scan, and rank the job applications they receive for their open positions.

It screens resumes by searching for specific keywords, educational background, work experience, and other criteria set by the hiring company.

This preliminary screening ensures only the most relevant resumes are passed on to human recruiters for further review, streamlining the hiring process significantly.

Key elements of an ATS-friendly resume

Key elements of an ATS-friendly resume include the right format and layout, keywords and phrases, and a streamlined resume.

ATS-friendly format and layout

When creating an ATS-friendly resume, the best file formats to use are .docx and PDF, as these are widely recognized and easily parseable by most Applicant Tracking Systems.

In terms of design, it’s crucial to stick with professional fonts like Arial or Calibri, use clear headings for each section, and maintain a clean, straightforward layout to ensure optimal readability for both the ATS and potential employers.

ATS-friendly keywords and phrases

Identifying and using job-specific keywords and phrases involves carefully reviewing the job posting and incorporating terms that match your skills and experience.

Mirroring the language of the job posting not only helps in passing ATS filters but also shows potential employers that you are closely aligned with the job requirements.

Streamlined ATS-friendly resume

Avoid tables, columns, and graphics, as these might not be correctly interpreted by the ATS, potentially causing important information to be missed.

Instead, structure your content with bullet points to enhance readability and ensure your qualifications are easily identifiable.

Advanced tips for optimizing your resume for ATS

Advanced tips for optimizing your resume for ATS: tailor your resume for each job application, use standard job title and sections, highlight achievements with quantifiable metrics.

Tailor your resume for each job application

Customizing your resume for each job application is a great way to enhance its relevancy and increase its chances of passing the ATS filters.

This means carefully analyzing each job description and adjusting your resume to highlight experiences and skills that closely match the requirements specified.

Use standard job titles and sections

Using recognizable job titles and standard resume sections helps in aligning with the expectations of ATS and simplifies the job of hiring professionals.

Standard titles and sections ensure that the software can easily categorize and prioritize the content of your resume according to the job requirements.

This not only improves the likelihood of your resume passing ATS scans but also assists in presenting your information in a clear, professional manner to potential employers.

Highlight achievements with quantifiable metrics

Demonstrating value through measurable outcomes is a potent strategy for making your resume stand out.

For example, stating that you “Increased sales by 20% within the first year by implementing a new strategic marketing approach” provides a clear, quantifiable accomplishment.

Such metrics not only showcase your ability to deliver results but also make your contributions tangible to potential employers.

Video: Creating an ATS-friendly resume

Jobscan, an online resume optimization tool and service created this easy-to-follow video on the do’s and don’ts of how to create an ATS-friendly resume that’s broken down into three parts:

  • ATS-friendly headlines
  • ATS-friendly relevant skills
  • ATS scanability

Check out the full video here:

Common ATS resume mistakes to avoid

  1. Using fancy or highly formatted templates that might not be read correctly by the ATS.
  2. Including images, charts, graphs, or logos in your resume as these can confuse and distract the software.
  3. Neglecting to use relevant keywords and job-specific phrases that could optimize your resume for ATS scanning.
  4. Not proofreading your resume for spelling and grammar errors, which could cause the ATS to reject your application.
  5. Submitting your resume in an unsupported file format, leading to it being unreadable by the ATS.

Is an ATS resume worth it?

An ATS-friendly resume gets you seen

The competition for jobs is fierce, and an ATS-optimized resume ensures your application doesn’t get overlooked in the initial digital screening.

Crafting a resume that aligns with ATS criteria significantly increases your visibility to potential employers and get you to a human more effectively.

An ATS resume highlights your skills

By cleverly integrating industry-specific keywords and making your relevant experiences stand out, an ATS-friendly resume can showcase your skills in a way that’s both meaningful and easy for the software to recognize.

This strategic emphasis ensures that your strengths are immediately apparent to both the software and the human recruiters who review your application next.

An ATS-friendly resume helps you stand out

In an ocean of applicants, an ATS-friendly resume acts as a beacon, ensuring your accomplishments and abilities shine brightly through the digital vetting process.

It’s not just about making the cut — it’s about positioning yourself as the standout candidate in a competitive field.

Writing an ATS-friendly resume

Creating an ATS-friendly resume is essential in navigating the modern job application process, ensuring that your resume passes through the initial digital screening phase.

Remember to use simple formatting, incorporate relevant keywords, and tailor your resume for each job application.

Highlight your achievements with quantifiable metrics to make your application stand out.

Investing time in crafting an ATS-optimized resume can significantly increase your chances of landing job interviews, making it a critical step in landing an interview for your dream job.

Every year, Mondo helps to fill over 2,000 open positions nationwide.

Looking to hire top-tier Tech, Digital Marketing, or Creative Talent? We can help.

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