Resumes should have clean, professional formats that are optimized for Applicant Tracking Systems.
Definition of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) ” Software applications that are used by employers to manage the entire recruitment process, from receiving applications to hiring employees.
Why does the Résumé Team make such a big deal about ATS? ” When a résumé is uploaded, it will most likely not be read by a human until it is read by the ATS. The résumé writer writer’s goal is to optimize the résumé for ATS so that it eventually gets into the hands of a person.
ATS Formatting Guidelines
- Fonts ” ATS can read most standard fonts
“Sans Serif fonts: Arial, Arial Narrow, Calibri, Century Gothic, Lucida Sans, Tahoma, Trebuchet, Verdana
“Serif fonts: Book Antiqua, Bookman, Cambria, Century Schoolbook, Garamond, Georgia, Palatino Linotype, Times New Roman
- Symbols ” Use asterisks, dashes, hash tags” only symbols found on your keyboard.
- Borders and Lines ” Fine to use if not touching any text. If in doubt, leave them out.
- Bullets ” Fine to use but avoid fancy shapes. Make sure bullet is not touching any text.
- Name ” List name and name alone on first line of the document.
- Contact Information ” Use city/state/zip code for local search, or omit if more beneficial to your client. List one phone number and one email address. You may include LinkedIn profile and/or other links. Links should be made live.
- Abbreviations and Acronyms ” Spell out the first time, show acronym in parentheses, and then use just the acronym.
- Section Headings ” It is essential to use common headings”Summary, Career Summary, Profile, Professional Profile, Professional Experience, Work Experience, Experience, Employment History, Education, Education & Training (or separate Education and Training headings) Certifications Technology Profile, Technical Expertise, Technical Skills, Professional Activities, Community Involvement, Languages”
- Employment Experience ” List company name first, with location (city and state). List the job title, with dates (months and years preferred). List every job separately with dates, description, and accomplishments ” no job “stacking.”
ATS Formatting Dos and Don’ts
- Do stick to standard fonts
” Sans Serif fonts: Arial, Arial Narrow, Calibri, Century Gothic, Lucida Sans, Tahoma, Trebuchet, Verdana
” Serif fonts: Book Antiqua, Bookman, Cambria, Century Schoolbook, Garamond, Georgia, Palatino Linotype, Times New Roman
- Do only list one phone number
- Do make LinkedIn addresses and websites live for easy accessibility
- Do not use Headers and footers for important information, such as contact information; ok to use for page numbers
- Do not use graphs, charts, graphics, or logos
- Do not use accent marks
- Do not include parentheses or quotation marks for client name
” For a nickname, use a dash after the last name (Shou-Yan Wang ” Jason)
- Do not send PDFs” always Word (PDFs are not universally recognized”.yet)
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