How To Write A Resume To Get Through The Applicant Tracking System?

How To Write A Resume To Get Through The Applicant Tracking System?

Jan 27, 2021. By Admin

Most of us make the mistake of assuming that only keywords matter when it comes to the Applicant Tracking System. Keywords are important but that is not the end-all, the difference is in what most people consider are the keywords from the keywords that actually work in your favor. Understanding this makes the difference. Keywords are not the same across geographies and job profiles, it varies based on the position that you are applying for. For example, one could assume that their functional skills to be keywords and fill their resume with that whereas the target position that they are applying may look for technical skills as keywords. So, mentioning their programming skills will get them a better ranking on the ATS against mentioning team management skills. The reason for this is that predominantly recruiters search for technical skills and not functional skills.

The next part is not to place any data on the header and footer of the document. The Applicant Tracking System does not read headers and footers and the data in these spaces are lost. Most applicants that we see have important aspects such as their name and contact details mentioned on headers and footers. Without these being read by the ATS engines, the application is as good as useless because there is no way the recruiters can reach out to these applicants because their name and contact details are missing.

While writing your resume, it is essential that you look at it from the perspective of the human recruiter and the automated ATS, therefore keep it simple and do not deviate too much from the standard section headers such as ‘Work Experience’ or ‘Technical Skills’; while you may try to be innovative and use out of the box headers to grab attention, it mostly does not work in your favor when it goes in for ATS screening. A perfect resume should have an equal balance between these parameters.

Applicant Tracking Systems does not like the usage of acronyms or abbreviations, stay away from it and also stay away from industry jargon. While you may think that usage of industry jargon and abbreviations will give the reader the confidence that you are well versed in that domain, the ATS does not look at it the same way because it does not understand abbreviations, acronyms or jargons for that matter. Writing ‘Client Relationship Management’ will improve your chances of getting selected vs. writing ‘CRM’. Even better if you mention it as ‘Client Relationship Manager (CRM)’ because you are not sure how the recruiter is going to search for it.

Moving on to the finer aspects of writing a perfect resume which is also the most important one that actually differentiates you from the rest of the applicants. A personal statement or a tag line would be ideal. Something as simple as ‘High-performance sales manager’ as a tag line would set the context in the readers' minds when they go through your resume. This can be followed up with the key differentiators that you can offer or the value that you add to the employer. These things are unique to each individual and therefore personalization of your resume is important.

Most of the clients we work with at CV Designer, tend to have difficulty in putting down their entire career span on paper. They tend to lose focus on the important parts of their job profile and they end up underselling themselves without knowing what the next step is going to be. By doing this, they end up receiving calls that are for roles lesser than the position that they presently hold. Therefore, it is essential that the positioning on the CV happens in sync with the present job profile and what they wish to do next in their career. On understanding these two aspects, it becomes easier to research for keywords that are in sync with the present job profile and also bring in keywords that the recruiters for the next role look for. By doing so, it improves the chances of recruiters and the ATS shortlisting the profile for further process.

Finally, one should understand that a generic resume is not going to hold good in the employment market or among hiring managers because most of the industry is looking for specialists, and using a generic profile is only going to dilute the profile and it isn’t going to impress anyone. Customizing your profile specific to the job role is the only way to have higher visibility. The additional time you put into customizing or taking support from a professional cv writer is sure to provide you with desired results.

Having written over tens of thousands of resumes, the top resume writing tip is to: Make it a Result Oriented Resume, validating it with numbers and accomplishments. We’ve seen thousands of mid and top executives make this common mistake of placing content that undersells their profiles and we’ve guided them through this and ensured that they are positioned right. Do send in your resumes to if you would like to have a review of your existing resume or get a new resume created at

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