Optimize your resume for ATS software

What is ATS software?

The use of the Internet has not only allowed easier access to job offers but also speeded up the sending of CVs. For this reason, companies often receive large numbers of applications for review.

The ATS software ( Applicant Tracking System ) are programs used by the vast majority of employers to analyze and select CVs  received online, in response to an offer or following a spontaneous application.

It is estimated that at least 70% of the curriculum vitae received by companies are deleted because they do not respect the criteria used by the electronic system for reading the CV.

What can you do to maximize your chances of passing the test of ATS software?

A key element: keywords

When opening a new job position, the Personnel Office usually elaborates the description of the required function, i.e. a set of requirements, identified by keywords, which are entered in the ATS software; when the program receives the various applications, it will first of all scan for the presence of these keywords.

Yes, but how can you know which ones they are, to insert these keywords in your CV, so that they match those in the ATS software?

To find the keywords to be included in the resume need a lot of attention

If you carefully analyze the job description offered by the company ( Job description ), you will notice that the text lists requirements that are usually defined as ” essential “, and which represent the most important keywords, to highlight on your resume.

You can also use software (there are several online) to search for the most used words in the ad and insert them in your CV.

It is also very useful to search for the most used words. frequently found on the site: each company has its own corporate culture, which is expressed through a specific language, often repetitive.

Remember to elaborate a text that is consistent with the Job description, and highlights your skills and experience for the job offered.

Infographic Resume checklist - Things to remember while Creating One

Beware of keyword stuffing!

It is important, however, not to abuse with the density of the keywords in the CV: you must use them without exaggerating, otherwise, the ATS may notice, and discard your resume.

In this regard, a term has been created in the Anglo-Saxon world, ” keyword stuffing ” (which can be translated as “stuffing of keywords “) which highlights how inappropriate use of keywords can be counterproductive.

The template: what are the most important elements to consider

The first rule is to avoid spelling errors, especially regarding keywords in the resume, otherwise, it is almost certain that your CV will be discarded by the scanning program.

The ATS software they are not able to interpret all the characters available for writing. It is, therefore, better to choose from the most used ones, such as Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Garamond, Verdana; Serif is to be discarded.

A clear, linear and schematic CV has more possibilities to pass the screening of the ATS

The simpler your CV is and ordered, the more likely it will pass the ATS selection. On the web, there are several templates that you can easily download and adapt to your needs.

Italics and bold are allowed but better limit their use: some ATS software I am unable to read them. On the other hand, precisely because the final destination of the CV is the person in charge of the selection, it could be useful to attract his attention; the advice is to use them reasonably.

Don’t mention important data in the headers: the ATS does not detect them and remember to structure your curriculum in sections; avoid embellishing it with horizontal lines, boxes, graphics or tables, shadows, symbols, logos, etc., which could confuse the electronic reading system.

It is also necessary to limit any bulleted lists; if you really want to put them, choose the dots.

The format: if you are undecided between Word and pdf, choose Word

The best system Word to use is, and the document is to save as .doc, as the .docx format may create compatibility problems.

The pdf format may be used, but to make sure that ATS software does not make any reading errors, better rely on Word.

Social Networks are important

Very often the examiners check the presence of the candidate’s profile on Social Networks. In particular, it is useful to consistently update your LinkedIn profile, so that the keywords you used in your CV are the same as those present in the Social.

We have reached the end; if you put our advice into practice, you will see that you will be able to reach the ultimate goal: a job interview with a human being!

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