How to Create An ATS Compliant Resume that Gets Past The Robots, Ira Bowman – 054

Career, Hiring Process, Job Application


How do I create an ATS compliant resume that gets past the robots?

  1. Choose .docx as your resume’s file format.
  2. Do not worry about making it pretty.
  3. Take note of specific formatting rules.
  4. The shorter, the better.
  5. Choose your keywords from the job listing’s text.

How to Create An ATS Compliant Resume that Gets Past The Robots

The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is not perfect, but it is what it is. These recruitment programs are used globally. Those living and working in Australia need to study up on this system, too.  In fact, the best things employees can do is to understand it and get around it.

Is creating an ATS Compliant resume that gets past the robots driving you nuts? Ira Bowman has 5 major tips that can increase your chances of getting selected. In today’s TIPS, Ira Bowman talks about file formats and writing tips for an ATS-friendly resume.

Though it may seem counterintuitive, never use PDF files for your resume. There are thousands of ATS programs, and many of them do not understand .pdf files. In the process of parsing (or reading) your resume, your resume may get completely overlooked when it is in PDF. Use .docx instead. .doc, .rtf or .txt work as well.

Another tip to create an ATS compliant resume that gets past the robots is to stop making it pretty. Most ATS programs edit and change the formatting of all resumes to a standardized format. Ira Bowman perfectly illustrates the process through a cake metaphor. It all boils down to the content. Bottom line is, everybody gets evaluated the same way. This feature was meant to eliminate bias.

There are other helpful formatting guidelines from Ira Bowman as well. Do not break your resume into columns. Always use a font size of 10 and up. Stick to the most basic fonts: Arial, Georgia, Tahoma, and Times New Roman. Never use coloured fonts. Bold is okay but never use italics. Finally, do not import fonts or characters outside of Word.

Make your resume shorter. In general, short resumes are more powerful and get to the point. After all, recruiters initially scan resumes for about 6 seconds. Condensed resumes do get prioritized over lengthy ones.

When it comes to writing, you can also trick the system into choosing you. Want an ATS compliant resume that gets past the robots? Use keywords. After going through the formatting, ATS checks for keyword match percentage. Just go through the job listing and get the keywords you need there. Find synonyms and power words related to the job listing.

We hope this helps you create an ATS compliant resume that gets past the robots! Take it one step at a time. Good luck!


This episode was possible thanks to (Accommodation Solutions in Australia)


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