Secret 3: Not all ATS resume keywords are created equal

It's time to take everything I've covered in the applicant tracking system (ATS) series and pull it all together into a sample resume. Here's your sample ATS resume.

Keyword placement matters for an ATS resume.

The work experience is straightforward, and in reverse chronological order. Notice the way the employment information is organized. It is important to write your dates of employment after the company name and after your job title, otherwise the ATS may misinterpret the information. Also, notice the words "incorporated" and "LLC" are included after the company name. It is wise to use the full, formal company name on an ATS optimized resume because those "company words" help the software to understand that is the company name.


Chronological ATS Resume Template

More About ATS Resumes:

Actually, in a lot of ways, formatting a resume for an ATS is easier than formatting a resume for a human reviewer because the structure is much simpler, there are fewer choices to make, and the ATS optimized resume doesn't have to fit nicely on a page the way a human-friendly resume must. However, with ATS screening, you really do need to get the formatting right to ensure your resume will be read.


Remember, when you write an ATS optimized resume, you are formatting it to make your resume easy for a computer to read. Formatting for a human reader is not your primary concern. However, a human reader will eventually see your resume if it scores well in the ATS screening process, so you can't completely ignore the needs of a human reader. There are a few strategies you can use to make an ATS optimized resume more attractive to human readers without causing problems with the software.Your ATS optimized resume will not be the most attractive resume you've ever seen. Don't worry. This plain formatting is crucial if your resume will be read correctly by a software program. Employers who use applicant tracking systems are aware of these formatting requirements and expect to see resumes that are very plain looking.You need to avoid italics and underlining on ATS optimized resumes, as well as any other fancy formatting that is often used on traditional, human-reviewed resumes. You can, however type section headings in all capital letters and use bold font to highlight sections. The capitals and the bold help identify section headings for the ATS, and when your ATS resume is eventually seen by a human reader, the capitals and bold will make your resume more readable.It's time to take everything I've covered in the applicant tracking system (ATS) series and pull it all together into a sample resume. Here's your sample ATS resume.