Resume Writing

Making Your Resume ATS-Friendly in 2024: What You Need to Know

Reading time 4min

Navigating the landscape of job applications in 2024 means understanding the digital gatekeepers: Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

These systems, designed to streamline the hiring process by filtering out resumes that don't meet specific criteria, can often be the first hurdle in landing your dream job.

In this guide, we'll dive into how to craft an ATS-friendly resume that not only passes through these digital filters but also stands out to human recruiters.

Guidelines for Creating an ATS-Compatible Resume

Guidelines for Creating an ATS-Compatible Resume

At their core, ATS are designed to help employers save time by automatically scanning resumes for relevant keywords, experience, and educational background aligned with the job description.

However, an ATS can casually overlook qualified candidates simply because their resumes aren't optimized for these systems.

The key to getting noticed is understanding how these systems work and tailoring your resume accordingly.

Tip 1: Simplify Your Resume Format

The first rule of thumb is to keep your resume format simple and straightforward. While creative layouts and designs can catch a human eye, they often confuse ATS software.

Stick to standard resume formats with clear headings for sections such as “Work Experience,” “Education,” and “Skills.”

  • Use a chronological or hybrid (combination) format. These are most ATS-friendly as they clearly outline your work history and skills.
  • Avoid using headers and footers. Some ATS systems have trouble reading information placed in these areas.
  • Choose ATS-friendly file formats. A plain Word document (.docx) or a PDF that is not saved as an image is best.

↓ Example ↓

Professional Summary:

Detail-oriented Software Developer with 5+ years of experience in developing scalable software solutions. Proficient in Java, Python, and SQL with a strong foundation in data structures and algorithms.

Work Experience:

Software Developer, Tech Innovations Inc.

June 2019 — Present
  • Led a team of 5 in developing a high-volume data processing application, resulting in a 20% increase in processing efficiency.
  • Implemented Agile methodologies, improving project delivery time by 30%.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, University of Tech, 2015 – 2019

  • Programming Languages: Java, Python, SQL
  • Frameworks: Spring Boot, Django
  • Tools: Git, Docker, Jenkins

Tip 2: Incorporate Relevant Keywords

Just like SEO for websites, your resume needs to be keyword optimized for ATS. These keywords are typically the skills, experiences, and qualifications listed in the job description.

  • Tailor your resume for each application. Use the job description to find relevant keywords and incorporate them into your resume.
  • Be specific. Instead of saying “experienced in marketing,” say “experienced in digital marketing strategies, including SEO, PPC, and social media marketing.”
  • Use both acronyms and full names for qualifications and certifications to cover all bases (e.g., “Search Engine Optimization (SEO)”).

↓ Example ↓

Skills Section:
  • SEO Optimization: Improved website SEO, resulting in a 40% increase in organic traffic.
  • PPC Campaign Management: Managed a monthly PPC budget of $10,000, achieving a 15% increase in ROI.
  • Social Media Marketing: Developed and executed social media strategy, increasing follower engagement by 25% across all platforms.

Tip 3: Highlight Achievements with Metrics

While ATS filters resumes based on keywords, human recruiters are drawn to achievements and quantifiable results.

  • Use action verbs and numbers to demonstrate your impact. For example, “Increased website traffic by 30% within six months through comprehensive SEO strategy.”
  • Include metrics and data where possible to back up your achievements. This makes it easier for recruiters to understand your potential impact on their company.

↓ Example ↓

Digital Marketing Specialist, Creative Solutions Ltd.

  • SEO Optimization: Spearheaded SEO strategy overhaul, leading to a 50% boost in organic search traffic within six months.
  • Content Marketing: Directed the production of 100+ SEO-friendly articles, increasing domain authority by 5 points.

Tip 4: Focus on Readability

An ATS-friendly resume is also human-friendly. After passing through the ATS, your resume will eventually land in front of a human recruiter, so it needs to be easily readable.

  • Use clear, legible fonts like Arial or Calibri, and keep the font size between 10 and 12 points.
  • Use bullet points to list your experiences and skills, making your resume easier to skim.
  • Leave plenty of white space to avoid overwhelming the reader with dense text.

Tip 5: Test Your Resume’s ATS Compatibility

Before submitting your resume, it's wise to test its ATS compatibility.

  • Use online tools such as Jobscan, which compares your resume against a job description to determine how well it matches.
  • Try the plain text test. Copy and paste your resume into a plain text document to see how it reads without formatting. This can give you an idea of how an ATS might parse your information.

Embrace the Process

Embrace the Process

Creating an ATS-friendly resume might seem daunting, but it’s a valuable step in ensuring your application reaches human eyes.

In 2024, adapting to these digital systems is not optional but essential for career advancement. With these tips, your resume will not only pass ATS filters with flying colors but also make a lasting impression on hiring managers.

Looking for a job that matches your aspirations and skills? Join TieTalent today. Our platform matches IT and Digital Marketing professionals with companies that value what you bring to the table, including those seeking talents who know how to navigate modern hiring processes effectively.

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