What is an ATS Compliant Resume?

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What Is An Ats Compliant Resume?ATS compliant resume

Technology has taken over the world in every sphere; several sectors of our lives are being conducted by robots and the like. The professional arena is no exception. Unlike former days, when you needed to hand out or post your resume to a specific company, the selection process for a vacant position has undergone vast changes. A resume now has to first go pass a software known as the Applicant Tracking System, after being shortlisted here, it then reaches human hands for further procedures. Hence, your only way of getting past these non-human systems is to design an ATS compliant resume.

First up you have to get acquainted with the concept of ATS compliance. The Applicant Tracking Systems, popular by its acronym ATS, is also known by the name of Candidate Management System. Presently, the trend of e-resumes is in vogue, and hence when you upload your resume, the ATS immediately scans it through a process called ‘parsing’. Through this, the keywords and information are picked from the resume, and based on that it is either accepted or rejected and kept in the database. It is from here that the potential employer gets the most suitable candidates for the vacant position.

Now, the curveball with these efficient systems is that they cannot be manipulated in any way; if they fail to find the words they are looking for, your resume straight away gets rejected. What then has to be your strategy? Compose a resume that is in accordance with the requirements of these systems; this is what ATS compliance is all about. When you have an ATS compliant resume, you can be sure that your resume format will be easily identified by almost all ATS and thereby get stored in the database for later perusal by HRs or recruiters.

To beat the bots and land into human hands take a look at the following and verify for yourself whether or not your resume is up to the mark.

  1. The Format used should be a simple one: you might be thinking of getting creative with your resume so that you can stand out from the rest; but mind you, you may actually stay standing entirely out of the queue of other applicants, as the ATS will fail to read such a resume. Unlike humans, the robots lack feeling and sensitivity; hence they prefer simple and essential stuff. So, do not waste time, decking up your resume, keep it as simple as you can.

 Any extra logo or symbol or picture needs to go; even the font used has to be among the regular Arial, Times New Roman or Courier. Also in terms of the segregation of the sections should remain the basic such as Qualifications, Professional Experience, Skills, etc.; avoid using unfamiliar sections to duck rejection. The file should not be saved in the PDF format but in the rich text format or as a Word doc.

  1. Hit the keywords: the uniqueness of any ATS is its affinity to keywords; this is like the stick that helps visually impaired people to find the road. It is through these keywords that any such software will be able to identify your resume as one that can be accepted or not. It thus, becomes imperative that you get your hands on the perfect keywords. Every qualification has certain specific words or phrases, and it is those words that are fed into the system of these robots.

Therefore, read your job description very carefully, check for the words used for the skills and verb phrases used in it and repeat them in your resume. These are most likely to be recognised by the ATS, for example, “Project Manager”. When mentioning any job title or certification, write down both the complete word as well as its acronym form, so that you are on the safe side of whichever form the system understands.

However, in the bid to nail the keywords, do not go overboard and overstuff the resume with these, the bots are smarter than you can imagine, they clearly understand when something like that is happening.

  1. Leave out the section of Career Objective: to say the truth plainly; no one is interested in what you want to do; instead, they are more interested in what you can bring to the company that will bring them profit and urge them to hire you. This section, thus, does not seem to be an intelligent inclusion in the resume any longer. Instead, replace it with ‘Qualifications Summary’ which is replete with the right keywords and enumerates your key skills and abilities. This helps you dually – making it an ATS compliant resume and simultaneously letting the recruiter know exactly what kind of value you would add to their organisation.
  2. Spell check religiously: spelling mistakes are like a hangman’s rope, no matter how well you may have composed a resume, if the spelling and grammar on it are faulty, all your effort gets wasted. With an ATS you cannot even think of getting past with such errors, at least humans may understand what you intend to say, despite a wrong spelling. But the software is in no situation to understand this, and will immediately overlook the word, even though it may be a keyword. So, your only rescue factor is spell check the document religiously, does not matter how many times, just make sure the spellings and grammar are perfect on your resume.

Now, see for yourself if your resume has been customized according to the pointers mentioned above; if yes, then you are good to go. And if not, then it’s time to run your eyes very carefully through these above-mentioned criteria and design your resume accordingly. It might seem to be a very daunting task, especially at the thought of having to meet the demands of a robot, but trust me, it’s not that difficult either. Just keep in the mind what the ATS understands and your sure to pass through this non-human scrutinizer in a jiffy!

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