How To Make Your Resume ATS Optimised

  • April 23, 2024

    author: Ramya


In today's competitive job market, the first hurdle many job seekers face is getting past the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). These automated tools are designed to streamline the recruitment process by scanning and filtering resumes based on specific criteria. However, without an "ATS optimized resume", even the most qualified candidates risk getting lost in the digital abyss. So, how can you ensure your resume stands out to both ATS and human eyes alike? Let's delve into the intricacies of crafting a compelling ATS compatible resume that gets noticed.


What is an ATS?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software application used by employers to manage the recruitment process. These systems are designed to streamline the hiring process by sorting through resumes and identifying the most qualified candidates based on specific criteria.


How Does an ATS Work?

When you submit your resume online, it's often scanned by an ATS before it even reaches human eyes. The ATS parses your resume, extracting relevant information such as skills, experience, and education. It then compares this information against the job description to determine if you're a suitable candidate for the position.


Understanding the ATS Algorithm

The ATS Algorithm is the digital gatekeeper standing between job seekers and potential employers. Understanding its intricacies is crucial for crafting an ATS compatible resume that gets noticed. Essentially, the algorithm works by scanning resumes for specific keywords and phrases that match the job description provided by the employer. It then assigns each resume a score based on the number of matches found, as well as other factors like formatting and relevance. Resumes with higher scores are more likely to pass through the initial screening process and be reviewed by human recruiters.


To optimize your resume for ATS, it's essential to strategically incorporate relevant keywords throughout your document while maintaining a clean and professional format. By aligning your resume with the criteria favored by the ATS Algorithm, you can increase your chances of making it past the digital gatekeeper and landing an interview.


Choosing the Right Keywords

Keywords are the backbone of any ATS friendly resume. These are the specific terms and phrases that ATS algorithms are programmed to identify and prioritize. To identify the most relevant keywords for your resume, start by carefully reading the job description provided by the employer. Pay close attention to recurring themes, skills, qualifications, and industry-specific terminology. These are the words that are likely to be picked up by the ATS and can help your resume rank higher in search results.


Once you've identified the key keywords, strategically incorporate them throughout your resume. This includes your summary, work experience, skills section, and any other relevant sections. However, avoid keyword stuffing, as this can come across as inauthentic and may even trigger ATS penalties. Instead, focus on naturally integrating keywords in context, ensuring that your resume remains cohesive and well-written.


Formatting for ATS Compatibility

In addition to keyword optimization, the formatting of your resume also plays a crucial role in ATS compatibility. To ensure that your resume is ATS optimized, follow these formatting guidelines:

  • Use a clean and professional layout with clear section headings.
  • Avoid fancy fonts, graphics, and images that may confuse the ATS or cause formatting issues.
  • Stick to standard font styles and sizes, such as Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri, to ensure maximum readability.
  • Save your resume in a compatible file format, such as .docx or .pdf, to prevent any formatting errors during the parsing process.
  • By adhering to these formatting guidelines, you can help ensure that your resume is "ATS compatible" and will be properly parsed by the system.


Optimizing Your Work Experience

When optimizing your work experience for an ATS compatible resume, it's essential to focus on quantifiable achievements and specific examples that highlight your skills and qualifications. Start by carefully reviewing each position you've held and identifying key accomplishments that are relevant to the job you're applying for. Use action verbs and metrics to clearly communicate the impact of your contributions.


For example, instead of simply stating that you "managed a team," specify how many people were on your team, any specific projects or goals you achieved together, and the results of your leadership efforts. By providing concrete examples of your successes, you not only demonstrate your capabilities to ATS, but also to hiring managers who may be reviewing your resume.


Crafting a Compelling Summary

Crafting a compelling summary is crucial for grabbing the attention of both hiring managers and ATS algorithms scanning your ATS resume. This concise section serves as your elevator pitch, providing a snapshot of your professional background, skills, and career objectives. In just a few sentences, you need to convey your value proposition and highlight what sets you apart from other candidates. Focus on showcasing your most relevant qualifications and achievements, using keywords and phrases from the job description to tailor your summary to the specific role. Aim to strike a balance between being informative and engaging, ensuring that your summary leaves a lasting impression on whoever reads it. Remember, this is your chance to make a strong first impression, so make every word count.


Highlighting Your Skills

Highlighting your skills in an ATS resume is crucial for grabbing the attention of both the Applicant Tracking System and hiring managers. When showcasing your skills, it's essential to provide a mix of hard and soft skills that are directly relevant to the job you're applying for. Hard skills, such as technical abilities or certifications, demonstrate your qualifications for the specific role. Soft skills, such as communication or leadership abilities, showcase your interpersonal strengths and overall fit for the position.


To effectively highlight your skills in an ATS resume, consider organizing them into categories or subsections to make them easier to navigate for both ATS algorithms and human readers. Additionally, be sure to use keywords and phrases from the job description to ensure that your skills align with the employer's requirements. By strategically showcasing your skills in your resume, you can increase your chances of making it through the initial screening process and landing an interview.


Proofreading and Quality Assurance

Before submitting your resume, be sure to thoroughly proofread it for any errors or inconsistencies. Spelling and grammatical mistakes can detract from the overall quality of your resume and may even cause it to be rejected by ATS. Additionally, double-check that all formatting is consistent and that your resume is free of any formatting errors that may have occurred during file conversion.


Consider enlisting the help of a trusted friend, family member, or professional resume writer to review your resume and provide feedback. Fresh eyes can often catch mistakes or areas for improvement that you may have overlooked. Remember, your resume is a reflection of your professionalism and attention to detail, so it's worth taking the time to ensure it's polished and error-free.



Crafting an ATS friendly resume is essential for navigating today's competitive job market. By understanding how ATS works and implementing the right strategies, you can significantly increase your chances of making it through the initial screening process and landing your dream job. Remember to choose the right keywords, format your resume for ATS compatibility, highlight your skills and accomplishments, and proofread carefully before submitting. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to creating a standout ATS compatible resume that gets noticed by employers.