ATS – your new best friend! How to make an ATS-friendly CV.

14/05/2021
Dear candidate, the ATS is not your enemy. It can even become your best friend! You just need to follow a few simple rules
Anna Sykut
Anna Sykut
Chief Evangelist in TRAFFIT
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    Dear candidate,

    the ATS is not your enemy. It can even become your best friend! You just need to follow a few simple rules to make your CV ATS-friendly, so that every ATS will become your ally during the job search!

    ATS-friendly CV checklist:

    1. You want to be noticed by a recruiter, so you decide to make a fancy CV and you create it using all your graphic skills. Not a good idea. Recruitment systems base on the content of a resume, so try to avoid sending your CV in .png or .jpg format. Keep up to the text formats, like .doc, .docx, .odt or .pdf so that the ATS has no difficulties with reading its content.

    2. Try the content to be short and simple. Use keywords instead of long and elaborated sentences. ATS is focused on searching for particular keywords defined by a recruiter.

    Examples of ATS-friendly content:

    If you were responsible for optimizing the company’s website for search engines like Google and managing sponsored links, don’t write it as a full sentence. Write just: “Responsibilities: SEO, SEM, AdWords”. This way it will be understandable for both ATS mechanisms and recruiters.

    Let’s say, you are familiar with using graphic programs and you want to underline this fact in your CV. It’s better to point out the list of programs you know how to use, for example: “Skills: Photoshop / AutoCad / Gimp”.

    3. Be precise. Remember that some keywords might have a few meanings and you want to be matched with concrete skills. If you have good knowledge of using Microsoft tools, use the keyword “Microsoft Office” or “Office 365” in your CV. If you only use the word “Office”, you can be recognized by the ATS as a perfect match for an Office Manager or as a person interested in home office (remote work).

    4. If the job advert says you should attach a CV in a particular language, it’s essential. That means that probably the ATS user will search for desirable keywords in this particular language and your CV might be treated as a mismatch.

    5. Point out only your strengths – skills you want to be associated with. Try to avoid phrases like: “I don’t have a driving license”, or “French language – beginner/weak”.

    6. Some advanced CV parsers (mechanisms that are inside of ATS) can analyze the dates of employment so it is a good idea to put the start date and the end date of your previous jobs (month and year will be enough). This way, if a recruiter starts searching for a candidate who has a minimum 5 years of experience in a specific position, you will be a perfect match.

    7. Don’t forget about the importance of linguistic correctness. If you are an accountant and misspell it in your CV by writing “acountant”, your chance to get a job will plummet.

    Recruiter- od ATS-friendly?

    And remember – you don’t have to choose. Your CV can be both recruiters – and ATS-friendly at the same time. Just follow the rules mentioned above, keeping the CV simple and esthetic.

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