9 Secret To Optimize Your Resume For ATS

how to beat applicant tracking systems

Companies use the Applicant Tracking System, or ATS is to screen resumes. The software helps employers accelerate the hiring process by helping with filtering, screening, and organizing a large number of applications.

So, even if you have the skills and experience required for the job, your resume can still get rejected if not optimized correctly.

So exactly, how to optimize your resume for ATS? This article has nine secrets to optimize your resume for ATS.

Read below for tips and tricks to enhance your resume and crack the ATS next time you apply for a job.

Why Should You Optimize Your Resume For ATS?

Recruiters and employers use application tracking systems to organize many applications. They search for the relevant application by entering the keywords that resonate with a particular role. When they put in the keyword, ATS recognizes the optimized resumes and screens them for them. ATS analyzes the content of your resume and sometimes can also rate it. It helps the recruiters in shortlisting the candidates, have been screened through the applicant tracking system. It can also compare and analyze how well your content matches the job description. Hence, you should make your resume ATS friendly to crack the step and get shortlisted for the next round.

Secrets Tips To Optimize Resume For ATS

Read below tips one by one.

1. Apply To Roles According To Your Qualifications

Apply Roles According To Qualifications

You should apply for roles according to your qualifications. Check the job description for a vacancy. Go through the eligibility. Make sure you are eligible for the job according to your qualifications, or the resume might get rejected through the ATS. You can follow the following tips to get recognized through ATS when you have conflict-free qualifications:

➔ To optimize your resume for ATS, make sure you put your qualifications in the first third of your resume.

➔ Put a specific summary at the start of your resume that mentions your level of education, experience, and skills.

2. Avoid Applying For Multiple Posts At The Same Company

When you apply for a job, it first goes through ATS. The ATS recognizes or rejects your resume based on its content. When you apply for multiple jobs at the same company, your resume might not be perfect for the role. In such cases, the chances of getting rejected are higher. According to required skills; the ATS even ranks your resume. Hence, avoid applying for multiple posts at the same company.

3. Never Try To Trick The ATS

Never Trick ATS

When you make an ATS-friendly resume, optimizing the keywords, formatting, and content tricks the ATS. If you stuff your resume with relevant keywords, it comes under cheating the ATS. Some do it by using many keywords in the resume or using invisible white text to mention keywords. Now, this may help you pass the initial screening process, the recruiters can analyze it. If caught, you might be blacklisted by the company. Hence, focus on honestly optimizing your resume.

The application tracking system does not recognize the text in the header and footer of your resume. If you place a significant piece of content in your Header and Footer, it might get overlooked and lower your ranking. The headers and footers are not necessary for your resume. Hence, keep your content like contact information or name, in the body part of the page.

5. Avoid Visuals

no fancy Visuals on resume

When you add visuals to your resume, it might lower your chances of getting shortlisted. A resume describes your skills and qualifications for the job you are applying for. Adding graphics and visuals may attract attention and give less space for your skills and experience. Any visuals are not ATS friendly. The visuals in your resume may distract the ATS that reads text-only documents. It may result in a lower ATS score. Hence, to optimize your resume for ATS avoid using visuals.

6. Use Appropriate Keyword Optimization

Keyword optimization is the most significant way to make an ATS-friendly resume. It makes sure that your resume cracks through the ATS. It analyzes your resume to allow employers to search for specific keywords. It also matches the keywords in your resume with the particular keywords required for the role to rank your resume. The recruiters either search for keywords with a job title or hard skills. In this way, they can screen candidates without even looking at their resumes. Therefore, use appropriate keywords in your resume to get through the last round.

7. Use Appropriate File Type

proper resume file format

If there is an option, upload your resume file in different formats. In case only one format is allowed, prefer uploading the resume in document format. In contrast, the brief PDFs are the least supported file format on ATS. While candidates prefer pdf format as it keeps the formatting intact, pdf file format might be a reason for getting rejected for a job. Thus, upload your resume in .doc format. You can keep the document in read-only mode to not change the formatting.

8. Add Hard Skills And Soft Skills

Skills are the most significant section of a resume. Your hard skills are the technical skills required for the job. Read the job description carefully to see the required skills. Highlight the skills in your resume in the separate skill section and the previous work section wherever relevant. On the other hand, your soft skills are personal skills like ‘innovative’, ‘creative’, and ‘passionate’. These soft skills are also read in ATS to screen and rank your resume.

9. Use Simple Format

keep resume simple

Keep your resume in a non-traditional format. When your resume goes into the applicant tracking system it gets pasted in plain text. It is done to make it easy for the recruiter. When your resume is in a non-traditional format it has higher chances of getting rejected. Therefore, keep the format of your resume simple to increase your chances of being selected during the screening process.


At present times, almost every company is using an Application Tracking System to ease the process of recruitment. The recruiters trust ATS to screen out the candidates in the case of many job applications. The ATS electronically scans your resume, scores your qualifications and skills, and ranks your resume according to the job description. The above article has presented different secrets to optimize your resume for ATS and grab your dream job soon.


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