How to Write an ATS-Friendly Resume in 2021: 7 Quick Techniques

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Table of contents

Applicant Tracking System?

How it works?

What Is ATS Resume?

Example

How to Make it ?

Title it right

Stick to the Chronological Format

Right Resume Font

Mistakes

Templates

Final Thoughts

Making your resume optimized for an ATS system is a sure way to boost your interview chances and eventually get hired for the job of your dreams. But, how to beat applicant tracking system, you may wonder? We have you covered! Here is your ultimate guide for optimizing your job application for applicant tracking systems (ATS) and getting the most of it.

From this guide, you will learn:

  • What is an ATS resume?
  • How to create an ATS resume step by step
  • ATS formatted resume examples
  • Additional tips on how to write an ATS Resume

Let’s dive into it!

Want to save time and ensure the success of your job search without a hassle? Entrust this matter to our professional resume writers with extensive experience in the writing business. The team of SkillHub knows how to take your skills and past career history and turn them into a job-winning resume!

Related: What is a Resume? [The Ultimate Guide for Beginners]

What Is an Applicant Tracking System?

Here you’ll learn what is an applicant tracking system and how applicants can optimize their resume sections or add resume keywords to get through an online applicant tracking system (ATS).

But, first, let’s define what an ATS resume test is.

What Is ATS?

So, what is an applicant tracking syst? In a nutshell, an ATS is a software that recruiting firms use to manage the recruiting process. Basically, the applicant tracking process allows to organize applicant information, weed out applications that don’t meet the requirements for the roles, and make better hiring decisions.

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How Do Applicant Tracking Systems Work?

So, how do applicant tracking systems work? Job seekers use ATS to make their resumes noticed by a recruiter and land an interview.

But how to get resume past ATS? - You need to tailor it to match the future job description. This includes using the keywords and matching your level of qualification and skills to the recruiter’s demands.

What Is ATS Resume?

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Now, let’s define what is ATS resume. An ATS resume is almost the same as a typical resume you use when applying for a job, but with a few amendments.

What should it look like? Basically, you need to ensure that it will be found in the ATS system when a hiring manager will be making an inquiry on a specific role. There are three levels of optimization:

  • Relevant keywords
  • Conformity with the job description
  • Easy-to-parse formatting

For better understanding, see our ATS resume examples by industry.

ATS Formatted Resume Example

Optimizing your resume for ATS systems can be tricky. Later on, we will tell you how to tailor your resume to the job description and optimize it with keywords.

But, first, let’s look at the example of an attention-grabbing ATS resume created by one of our resume writers Rachel Evans.

ATS Resume Example

To help you create a perfect ATS resume, here is a well-organized sales resume sample created by our writer. The sample below is perfectly tailored to the job description and responsibilities, covers all the relevant hard skills and soft skills, and, most importantly, makes the candidate stand out from the crowd of competitors aimed at the same job title.

Blake Ferris

Director of Sales | Miami, FL | (786)-392-6533 | blake.ferris@gmail.com | linkedin.com/in/blake-ferris

Resume Summary

Self-motivated director of sales with 7+ years of experience helping businesses ensure scalability and revenue growth. Worked with large, leading product and service providers. Drove $11M revenue growth through integrating innovative sales models. Excelled in virtual outreach and client relationship management.

Professional History

Marriott International, Inc. | Miami, FL

Director of Sales | 12.2014-Present

  • Curated 16 high-profile accounts estimated between $4M-$6M
  • Spearheaded the virtual outreach campaign, generating new revenue streams and boosting brand recognition by 21%
  • Managed a sales team of 17 specialists, ensuring that department goals are being met
  • Consistently exceeded quarterly sales goals by an average of 30% through efficient cross-selling and up-selling

Hyatt | Fort Lauderdale, FL

Sales Manager | 12.2010-12.2014

  • Managed and led a team of 7 sales representatives, ensuring that sales quotas are being met
  • Integrated new processes and models of work resulting in a 10% budget reduction with 15% growth in revenue
  • Set and managed all sales team quotas and goals and reported on the results to top-level executives
  • Mentored junior sales staff, increasing their quotas by a total of 42%

Education

Johnson & Wales University | Master’s in Tourism and Travel Services

Johnson & Wales University | Bachelor’s in Tourism and Travel Services

Skills

  • Business development
  • Account management
  • Proficient with HubSpot, Salesforce, and Zoho
  • Adept at setting sales quotas, processes, and goals
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Excellent customer service
  • Skilled in presentations

How to Make an ATS-Friendly Resume?

In this section, we will tell you how to make your resume ATS friendly that gets noticed by a recruiter.

One of the secrets of how to write ATS friendly resume is to use the right keywords (skills). To create great ATS resumes, our resume writers used to print out descriptions and highlight the key skills. But now, with SkillHub, you can do this automatically - we will provide you with a list of applicable titles of skills based on your resume and job description.

Find an Effective ATS Resume Template

Having a solid resume template will help you better understand what is ATS resume. Also, it will show you how to create each resume section right. Below, you can find different types of ATS resume templates to get started.

Want to save time and ensure success? Regardless of the position you are planning to apply to or your industry, our experts will save your time and create a resume that will help you get more interviews and eventually get employed.

Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description

In the process of talent acquisition, employers have very specific, unique demands for candidates. And, of course, they want to hire humans who meet those demands.

To create a worthy ATS resume, carefully study the job description, highlight the main needs of each employer, and tailor your resume to them.

Add Relevant Keywords [ATS Keywords]

An ATS resume checker will scan your resume for action words and relevant keywords that typically match the job responsibilities and requirements.

Below, we will share the ultimate ATS keywords list with you.

ATS Keywords List

ATS software keywords are used to help every human resources team to find a relevant person for different positions. You can find them right in a job description. From it, you can highlight the main role and industry-related keywords and come up with an ATS keywords list. 

Here are the top 50 keywords for an ATS resume:

  1. Training
  2. Sales
  3. Management
  4. Design
  5. Accounting
  6. Operations
  7. Marketing
  8. Technical
  9. Reporting
  10. Research
  11. Analytical
  12. Compliance
  13. Budget
  14. Strategy
  15. Brand
  16. Documentation
  17. Engineering
  18. Finance
  19. Policies
  20. Safety
  21. Health
  22. Content
  23. Presentations
  24. Customer Service
  25. Certification
  26. Controls
  27. Legal
  28. Testing
  29. Regulations
  30. Logistics
  31. Healthcare
  32. Metrics
  33. Correspondence
  34. Engagement
  35. Coaching
  36. Retail
  37. Mobile
  38. Writing
  39. Database
  40. Distribution
  41. Regulatory
  42. Analytics
  43. Inventory
  44. Scheduling
  45. Construction
  46. Vendors
  47. Contracts
  48. Consulting
  49. Leadership
  50. Python

Title Your Resume Sections Right

Another effective tip on how to get resume past ATS is to always use the right labels for your resume sections. ATS systems typically look for straightforward and clear headings like these:

  • Work/Professional Experience
  • Work/Professional History
  • Experience

The same clarity and straightforwardness should apply to all section headings.

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Stick to the Chronological Format

The best way to organize your resume is to use the chronological resume format. An ATS resume written in this format is easy to scan.

This format implies listing your professional experience starting with the latest organization/role and includes the following sections:

  • Title
  • Contact information
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Other

Pick the Right Resume Font

To make sure the recruiter sees your work experience, don’t choose a unique resume font. Such fonts often are unreadable for ATS systems, which means that your resume will never get into recruiters’ hands.

The best resume fonts to make your professional history visible for ATS include Arial, Times New Roman, Georgia, and Calibri.

Choose the Best File Type

To secure yourself a high ATS resume score, you should deliver it in a file format that ATS systems support and can scan accurately. The most common and effective are PDF or .docx files. Every career advice expert from SkillHub will confirm these are the best file types to use.

ATS Resume Mistakes

Now that we’ve taken you through every stage of optimizing your resume ATS to bypass resume-scanning software, let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes to avoid.

Contact Details in the Resume Header

Including contact information in the resume header of your document may be the reason why your resumes get no responses and you don’t receive an interview invitation from your prospective boss.

General Resumes for All Jobs

To bypass ATS systems, you have to well-optimize resume for each specific job. Thus, don’t apply with generic resumes, but tailor your applications to each job with relevant ATS keywords.

Wrong Type of File

Your application may fail just because you’ve chosen a file type that is not compatible with ATS systems. To avoid this, save your ATS friendly resume in .docx or PDF.

Graphical Elements

Wondering how to optimize resume for ATS? Do never include such elements as charts or graphics. An ATS won’t scan it, whereas a recruiter can see them in your portfolio.

Top 2021 ATS-Friendly Resume Templates

Job searching can be tough. The only way to make your application stand out is by choosing a good resume template.

Here are the top three different templates for 2021.

Advanced Resume Template

Such templates have a more advanced format with plenty of details and information. It will suit candidates who have a lot to showcase.

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Modern Resume Template

This template unites readability, contemporary style, and effective text placement. It can work well in many situations.

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Corporate Resume Template

Such templates are simple but created for effective and thoughtful presentation of you and your accomplishments. It’s perfect for corporate positions.

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Final Thoughts: How to Bypass Resume-Scanning Software

Want a resume that gets you hired? That’s a great goal. But, the issue is that applicant tracking systems might really get in your way.

Here is a quick recap on how to beat ATS:

  • Add job-related keywords;
  • Use the chronological format;
  • Tailor resumes to each particular job offer;
  • Choose standard readable fonts;
  • Organize and label your sections right;
  • Don’t put your job contact details in the header;
  • Don’t include graphics or charts;
  • Save your resume in .docx or PDF.

And, remember, if you want to beat ATS bots, you can always get professional help from our expert resume writers!

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