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What Is an Applicant Tracking System? How Can I Improve my Resume for a Scan?

Updated: May 10

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a resume database that organizes, sorts, screens, and even ranks online applicants’ resumes.

Recruiters and hiring managers use ATS software to select the best applicants and resumes through targeted searches for certain criteria, phrases, and keywords.

To improve your chances of making it past the ATS gate keepers and securing an interview, use simple formatting; avoid images, borders, colored or fancy fonts, decorative bullets, and text boxes; include a simple personal header at the top of the page; be consistent with the placement and presentation of section titles and use traditional section names, such as “career” and “skills”; align with key words that match the job description; spell out acronyms; and proofread for typos and spelling errors.

For an easy “eye read” after passing through an ATS scan, be sure to leave ample margins and plenty of white space throughout the resume, without cramming too much information onto a page. A simple, straightforward, and easy-to-read resume pleases the computer and hiring personnel alike.

Contact me today to create a resume that will get you seen in a sea of resumes!

- Christa


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