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ATS Friendly CV: The Key to Success in Job Search

Admin BFI
16 November 2023
ATS Friendly CV: The Key to Success in Job Search

Job searching in the digital era often involves the use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). ATS is software that assists companies in the selection and evaluation process of applicant resumes. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your CV can be easily read by ATS, creating what is known as an ATS Friendly CV. In this article, we will discuss the definition of an ATS Friendly CV, its benefits, and how to create a CV that can successfully pass through applicant tracking systems.



1. Understanding ATS Friendly

1.1 Definition of 'ATS Friendly'

An ATS Friendly Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a resume designed to be easily accessed and analyzed by an Applicant Tracking System. This system is used by companies to manage and filter applicants. An ATS Friendly CV is specifically crafted to meet ATS technical requirements so that the information contained within the CV can be extracted and analyzed by the system.


1.2 Characteristics of an ATS Friendly CV

To understand the characteristics of an ATS Friendly CV, consider the following points:

  1. Simple Text Format: An ATS Friendly CV should use a simple text format. Avoid complex formats such as tables or graphics, as ATS may struggle to read information in such formats.
  2. Consistent Formatting: Ensure your CV formatting is consistent. Use the same font style, consistent font size, and uniform rules for headings, subheadings, and text.
  3. Keyword Usage: An ATS Friendly CV should include relevant keywords related to the position you are applying for. ATS will search for specific keywords in the CV to match them with job requirements.
  4. Clear Headings: Use clear headings or subheadings for each section of your CV, such as "Education," "Work Experience," "Skills," etc. This helps ATS identify different sections in your CV.
  5. Consistent Date Format: If you include dates in your CV, ensure the date format is consistent. For example, if you use the "Month Year" format (Example: June 2020), use the same format for all entries.
  6. Avoid Images and Graphics: ATS cannot analyze complex images, graphics, or tables. Therefore, refrain from using these visual elements in your ATS Friendly CV.


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2. Benefits of an ATS Friendly CV

2.1 Professionalism

Creating an ATS Friendly CV demonstrates a high level of professionalism to the companies you are applying to. It shows that you understand and prepare well for the selection process involving ATS technology. In a work environment increasingly linked to technology, the ability to compose a CV that meets ATS standards is a valuable competency indicator. It signifies that you invest in the effort required to understand modern selection processes and can enhance your image as a serious applicant.


2.2 Simplicity and Effectiveness

ATS Friendly CVs typically have a simple and easily readable layout. This facilitates recruiters or HR teams in evaluating your CV. With a clean and straightforward appearance, your CV becomes more accessible and analyzable. Clarity in presenting information is also an indicator of excellent communication skills. In the business world, the ability to convey information efficiently is a valued addition.


2.3 Time Savings

An ATS Friendly CV can save you time in job searching. With a CV specifically designed for ATS, you can quickly apply for multiple jobs without making significant changes to your CV each time. This is especially beneficial when looking for jobs on a large scale or undergoing an intensive job search process. With a well-structured CV for ATS, you can easily submit your application to various companies and positions with minimal additional effort. This allows you to focus on other aspects of job searching, such as tailoring your cover letter or preparing for interviews.


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3. How to Create an ATS Friendly CV

3.1 Simple Layout

Using a simple layout is a crucial first step in creating an ATS Friendly CV. Avoid complexity in layout and formatting. Use a plain and simple text format without distracting elements such as complicated tables or columns. ATS tends to be more effective in identifying information in CVs that have a clean and easily readable appearance. Avoid using images or visual elements that could potentially confuse the ATS system.


3.2 Tailor CV to the Position

It is important to tailor your CV to the requirements of the position you are applying for. This means understanding the job description and providing requirements thoroughly. Use keywords that align with the job description. If the position requires specific skills or certifications, make sure to clearly include them in your CV. Focus on your most relevant experience and skills for the position you are applying for.


3.3 Use Relevant Keywords

ATS searches for specific keywords in your CV to match them with job requirements. Therefore, it is crucial to include keywords relevant to the job you are applying for. This can include specific terms, skills, certifications, and relevant work experience. To determine the right keywords, carefully read the job description and identify the most relevant ones.


3.4 Use Bullet Points and Numbers

Using bullet points and numbers in your CV can make information more accessible and understandable to ATS. Instead of providing general statements, for example, "increased sales," include concrete data such as "experienced a 20% increase in sales in the last year." This helps the ATS system evaluate your achievements more effectively. The use of bullet points and numbers also makes it easier for human readers who may review your CV after the ATS process.


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3.5 Pay Attention to Format

Ensure that your CV format is consistent and well-structured. This includes using clear headings for each section, such as "Education," "Work Experience," "Skills," and others. The date format should also be consistent, whether you use the "Month Year" format (e.g., June 2020) or another format. Text formatting, such as the use of bold letters, italics, or font style, should also be uniform. Avoid drastic changes in format or text style across different sections of your CV.


By understanding what an ATS Friendly CV is and how to create one, you can enhance your chances in job searching. A CV specifically designed for ATS can help you pass the initial selection and make a positive impression on recruiters. Remember always to customize your CV for the position you are applying for using relevant keywords. This way, you will have an effective CV ready to enter the workforce.


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