Writing ATS complaint IT CV

In most tech companies, before your CV been read by a human there are bots or automated programs that tend to process the received applications and match them with the key requirements for the advertised role. This article explains the standards that a typical CV screening programs will be looking in your CV to pass the process.

What is ATS compatible means ?

ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is a type of software used by recruiters during the hiring process which will scan, and rank the job applications they have received. To pass the initial screening process, your CV needs to be compatible with the ATS standards.

Read > : What are ATS Systems ?
Tip 1 : Keep it simple: Add only useful information to the position you are applying

Your resume is not you! It is a kind of a name card to simply express your interest in the role, qualifications, and related work experience. Adding extra information like your hobbies and marital status even gender is not relevant to most of the vacancies. Therefore, make sure to keep the information in your resume relevant and simple.

[DIAGRAM] (Wrong, Correct) 

Keep it simple.
Tip 2 : Avoid using graphics including images, tables, indentations, etc

No matter what format you are submitting your resume it will be simply converted to a compatible document format during the ATS scanning process. Therefore, try to minimize the use of graphics like tables, word-arts, font colors, indentations, images, etc. In a case, you want to apply formatting try to stick with the basic formatting options like bold, headings, simple bullet points, etc.

CV With extensive graphical content.
Tip 3 : Use keywords instead of buzzwords.

Below are the explanation for keyword and buzzword from the google translator:

keyword : (noun) a word or concept of great significance.

buzzword : (noun) a word or phrase, often an item of jargon, that is fashionable at a particular time or in a particular context.

Any listed vacancy should have information about the expectations that the desired candidate should possess to the advertised role. In a typical IT-related role there should be both technical requirements and role-related expectations.

It is important to identify these and create your request accordingly. For instance, the tools and technologies that a candidate should have to be successful like Java, C#, TDD (Test Driven Development) etc. can be considered as the keywords. You should try to include keywords as much as you can provide they apply to your qualifications and work experience. Similarly, there should be a list of skills normally under role responsibilities explaining the type of personality they are looking such as a team player, work under pressure, etc. This is where you can use buzzwords to exhibit your skills and experience. As a rule of thumb, avoid using buzzwords without context like “I’m a team player” instead include them in your work experience or achievements like “project was developed with a team of 12 members in an Agile lean environment’.

Tip 4 : Organize the content of your resume into a clear hierarchy.

Your resume should follow a clear hierarchy that can be viewable in any document format. The reason why you should follow tip is not only to make things simple for the applicant tracking systems but also to the recruiting agent. Once they open your resume, it should be clear where to look to find more details about you. This is hierarchy resembles the table of contents section of a typical document.

Headings and Bookmarks sections to outline the CV.
Tip 5 : Each job vacancy is different so try to customize your resume.

If you consider two IT job openings advertised under the same title, inevitably they are different. This is mainly due to the technical requirements and organizational cultures are different on each advertiser. Therefore, it is important to customize your resume to suit the exact position you are applying for.

Tip 6 :  Get the feedback from an expert.

As with anything in life, constructive criticisms and feedbacks are important. Same with your resume. Use a reliable source to check your resume for suggestions on improvements. Use our free resume service to get personalized feedback on your resume.

Use the service of an affordable Professional CV Writing editor to create your CV from a scratch:

Use a professional IT editor to check your resume.

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