When you apply for a job, you do so with dozens, even hundreds of other candidates. Recruiters and human resource professionals only have so much time in their day to read resumes. Hence, many companies invest in an applicant tracking system or ATS resume scanner. These systems analyze your resume and select candidates based on keywords and descriptions.

If you actively or passively apply to jobs, you should make sure your resume meets the cut. Give your resume a fighting chance by making sure it’s an ATS resume for 2021. Because chances are your resume will land in at least a couple once you start applying.

ATS Resume Meaning

ATS resume scanner software streamlines the hiring process by making it easier for recruiters and managers to find suitable candidates. Ideally, candidates want to use ATS keywords throughout their resumes. This way, the software will flag the resume and determine it as a qualified candidate holding skills relevant to the position.

As IT recruiters, we’ve not only come across many resumes but more than enough ATS resume scanners. To help you land the initial interview, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you create an ATS resume for 2021.

Include ATS Keywords from the Job Description

As we initially stated, applicant tracking systems use keywords to target qualified candidates. Before you apply for the job, thoroughly read through its description. Select key skills and use them as ATS keywords by including them in your resume. Furthermore, if you have a lengthy list of past jobs, include ones specific to the present position. When doing this, you increase your chances of the system selecting your file to show to hiring managers.

Many candidates want to speed up the process by applying to as many positions as possible. They thus submit the same resume to all positions listed throughout the internet. We strongly advise against doing this.

Every job is different and thus requires different qualifications. Recruiters expect to see resumes showcasing highly relevant content. Moreover, they use ATS resume scanners so that they don’t have to waste their time on inexperienced people. Ironically, if you choose to submit this same resume to dozens of positions, you end up wasting your time, not the hiring managers.

woman choosing resume

You may have a resume folder with one hundred different files. However, it’s worth it if hiring managers determine you’re a good fit for the position.

Use Appropriate File Formats

Not all files are made equal, especially when it comes to applicant tracking systems. Only some ATS software accept PDF files. While others accept PDFs, the software may read the files incorrectly.

To be sure you create an ATS resume for 2021, we recommend saving a copy as a .doc or .docx file. ATS resume scanners can read the file much more easily this way. Once a recruiter or manager reaches out, then you can show them a better resume design that can be a PDF file.

Specify Full Acronyms and Titles

We recommended including both the acronym and full-term on an ATS resume for 2021. When you first list the term, use it in its complete form with the abbreviation in parenthesis at the end of the sentence or bullet. Then you can list it as an acronym throughout the rest of the file.

When you list either the acronym or full term, you might be missing out on a keyword. Use both, that way you increase your chance to whatever keyword the hiring manager chose in the position. You also follow classic AP writing style as a plus.

woman writing

Keep the Format Simple

Avoid complex formatting on your resume. It’s best to keep the resume in a standard format. When an ATS resume scanner goes through your resume, it will translate the information into their system. However, if your resume has complex formatting, you risk certain information getting scattered or lost.

Your IT Career Counselor

By following these tips, your job search will be off on the right foot. However, if you still have difficulty, IT Resources can help you polish up your resume and interviewing skills and direct you toward a job suited to your interest. We work hard to place professionals with top companies nationwide. Our career counselors give you their attention throughout your job search; you’re never just a number to us. Contact us to get started today.

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