What should be included in ATS resume?

ATS resume

Introduction to ATS Resume

In today’s competitive job market, standing out from the crowd is essential. One crucial aspect of job application success is understanding and optimizing your resume for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). In this article, we delve into the intricacies of ATS resumes and how they impact your job search journey.

Understanding ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are software applications used by employers to manage and automate the recruitment process. These systems parse, store, and rank resumes based on specific criteria set by the employer. Understanding how ATS works is key to crafting a resume that gets noticed by hiring managers.

The Role of ATS in Recruitment

ATS plays a pivotal role in streamlining the hiring process for employers. It helps them manage a large volume of resumes efficiently, identify qualified candidates, and track their progress throughout the recruitment stages. For job seekers, this means that your resume needs to align with ATS requirements to increase your chances of getting noticed by recruiters.

Key Components of an ATS Resume

Crafting an ATS-friendly resume involves understanding and incorporating key components that enhance its visibility to employers. In this section, we’ll delve into the essential elements that make up an effective ATS resume.

Contact Information

Your contact information is the gateway for potential employers to reach out to you. It’s crucial to include updated contact details at the top of your resume, including your full name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile (if applicable). Formatting these details in a clear and structured manner ensures ATS readability, increasing the chances of your resume getting noticed. Accurate contact information also plays a significant role in receiving interview invitations, as it facilitates seamless communication between you and hiring managers.

Resume Summary or Objective

The resume summary or objective is your opportunity to grab ATS’s attention right from the start. Craft a compelling summary or objective that succinctly highlights your key skills, experiences, and career goals. Incorporate relevant keywords related to the job you’re applying for to align with ATS algorithms. Here are some examples of effective summary statements tailored for ATS:

  • Experienced marketing professional with a track record of driving digital campaigns and increasing ROI. Skilled in SEO, SEM, and social media marketing.
  • Detail-oriented project manager with expertise in Agile methodologies and successful project deliveries. Certified ScrumMaster and PMP.
  • Customer-focused sales representative with a proven sales record in exceeding targets. Proficient in CRM software and relationship management.

Skills Section

The skills section is a crucial component for ATS algorithms to match your qualifications with job requirements. Format your skills section by listing relevant hard skills (technical abilities) and soft skills (communication, leadership) based on the job description. Prioritize skills that align closely with the job role to enhance ATS resume effectiveness. For example:

  • Hard Skills: Programming languages (Java, Python), graphic design software (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator), data analysis tools (Excel, Tableau).
  • Soft Skills: Communication, teamwork, problem-solving, time management, adaptability.
ATS resume

Work Experience

Your work experience section should be structured in a way that optimizes ATS parsing. Use action verbs and quantifiable achievements to stand out in ATS scans. Tailor your work experience descriptions to align with specific job descriptions, highlighting key responsibilities and accomplishments. For instance:

  • Implemented a new customer relationship management system, resulting in a 20% increase in client retention.
  • Led a cross-functional team to launch a product ahead of schedule, generating $1 million in revenue within the first quarter.

Education and Certifications

Include your education and certification details in an ATS-friendly format. Highlight relevant coursework, degrees, and certifications using keywords related to your industry. Your education and certifications can significantly impact ATS ranking and employer interest. For example:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, XYZ University
  • Certified Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Google Analytics Certification

Keywords and Phrases

Incorporating industry-specific keywords and key phrases is vital for ATS resume success. Identify relevant keywords from job postings and integrate them strategically throughout your resume. Use tools and resources for keyword optimization to enhance your ATS visibility and improve your chances of getting shortlisted for interviews.

Formatting Tips for ATS Resume

Crafting an ATS-friendly resume goes beyond content; the format and layout play a crucial role in ensuring that your resume gets noticed by ATS algorithms. In this section, we’ll explore essential formatting tips to optimize your resume for ATS compatibility and readability.

File Format and Naming Convention

When saving your resume for online applications, it’s essential to use file formats that are compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). The recommended file formats for ATS compatibility include PDF and DOCX. These formats ensure that your resume retains its formatting and readability when viewed by ATS.

In addition to file format, consider the naming convention of your resume file. Opt for a clear and straightforward naming convention that includes your name and the position you’re applying for. For example, “John_Doe_Resume_Sales_Manager.pdf” makes it easy for ATS to identify and categorize your resume.

Avoid using complex formatting or design elements that may hinder ATS parsing. Stick to standard fonts like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman, and maintain a consistent font size throughout your resume for easy readability by both ATS and human recruiters.

Font and Layout

The choice of fonts and layout can significantly impact ATS readability. When selecting fonts, prioritize ATS-friendly fonts that are clear, professional, and easy to read. Aim for a font size between 10-12 points to ensure that your resume is legible, both on screen and in print.

Create a clean and organized layout with clear sections and headings. Use bullet points to list key achievements, skills, and experiences. Utilize white space effectively to avoid clutter and improve overall readability. ATS algorithms scan resumes more efficiently when the content is well-structured and visually accessible.

File Size and Page Length

Consider the file size of your ATS resume to ensure smooth upload and processing by ATS systems. Keep your resume file size manageable by optimizing images and avoiding large file attachments. Aim for a file size under 1-2 MB to prevent upload issues.

When it comes to page length, strike a balance between providing comprehensive information and maintaining concise content. Ideally, your resume should be one to two pages long, depending on your level of experience and the job requirements. Use strategies such as condensing information, prioritizing relevant details, and removing unnecessary content to keep your resume concise yet impactful.

ATS resume

Final Tips for ATS Resume Success

As you fine-tune your ATS resume, consider these final tips to enhance its effectiveness and increase your chances of landing interviews.

Proofreading and Editing

Before submitting your ATS resume, conduct thorough proofreading and editing. Check for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, and formatting inconsistencies. Ensure that all information is accurate, relevant, and presented clearly. A well-polished resume reflects professionalism and attention to detail, traits highly valued by employers.

Customization for Each Job Application

Avoid using a one-size-fits-all approach for your ATS resume. Customize each resume to align with the specific job requirements and keywords. Tailoring your resume demonstrates your genuine interest in the role and increases its relevance to ATS algorithms. Highlight your most relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that match the job description.

Seeking Feedback and Optimization

Consider seeking feedback from ATS resume experts or professionals in your industry. Their insights and recommendations can help optimize your resume further. They may provide valuable suggestions for keyword placement, content structure, and overall ATS compatibility. Continuous improvement and refinement of your ATS resume can significantly impact your job search success.


In conclusion, mastering the art of ATS resume optimization is essential for navigating today’s competitive job market. By incorporating relevant keywords, formatting your resume for ATS readability, and customizing it for each application, you can improve your chances of getting noticed by recruiters and securing interviews.

It’s crucial to remember that ATS optimization is not a one-time task but an ongoing process. Stay updated on ATS trends, and industry-specific keywords, and resume best practices to maintain your competitive edge. Implementing these ATS resume strategies can lead to better job prospects and career advancement opportunities.

As you embark on your job search journey, remember to approach each application with confidence and persistence. ATS-friendly resumes are your gateway to unlocking new career opportunities. With dedication and strategic resume optimization, you can position yourself as a standout candidate in the eyes of recruiters and employers.

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