Guide to 7 ways to make sure your resume beats bots, Educational tools advice, CV help

7 Ways to Make Sure Your Resume Beats Bots

6 Jan 2021

When applying for a job, we do our best to draw the hiring manager’s attention. Imagine this – you’ve created a resume, wrote a cover letter for it, sent it to a company you want to work for. You are waiting for feedback, but no one is calling you back. Well, maybe your resume check by ATS finished unsuccessfully.

Have you ever heard about systems that scan incoming applications before the recruiter starts looking through them? They are called applicant tracking systems and their task is to sort the huge amount of resumes that companies receive every day. ATS bots check your СV for the required information and keywords. If the check is successful, your resume will get into the recruiter’s hands.

7 ways to make sure your resume beats bots

In this article, we want to share tips on how you can optimize your application for the ATS. Follow them and make sure you have a bot-beating resume.

Relevant Keywords

ATS is a tool that helps to narrow down the number of potential candidates. How? The hiring manager sets up ATS filters using keywords and particular requirements for an applicant. Applications with the highest score received from the resume-scanning software will move on to the next stage of the recruiting process.

Any job description contains keywords and original technical terms. You can copy them into your resume, describing your work experience and qualification. Do not overload one section with all the keywords, mention them in different parts of your resume. ATS bots search for these keywords, and if they appear on your resume, your chances increase.

Keep in mind that your CV should not be optimized for the program only. It has to look attractive for a real person – a hiring manager – as well. Professional resume writers from the best resume writing service can give you a hand with that. A career advice expert is always there to help you craft a winning bot-beating resume. A team of specialists will make every effort to guide you so that you finally land a job of your dreams.

Be Specific

AT systems pay attention to data. So, don’t mention general terms such as «MS Office» or «graphic design» while describing your skills. Be more precise – use something like «Advanced user of graphic editors: Photoshop, Gimp, Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape» or «Proficient in ActiveCampaign and Google Analytics».

Keep It Simple

Try to avoid using graphics, logos, tables and fancy fonts. Remember that ATS bots only process text, so don’t place important data in graphic form. The systems also have problems with table recognition – they read tables in the wrong order. ATS can’t recognize acronyms, images and charts well, too.

It’s better not to use arrows or bold type, and abstain from mixing different fonts. ATS won’t appreciate fonts in different sizes, either. Use simple colors – ATS filters all the information in one color anyway.

Remember that details outside the standard text areas may be overlooked by the ATS, so include all the relevant facts in the main body of your resume.

Contact Information

Most automated recruitment management systems start analyzing files from the beginning. The system reads information from left to right, top to bottom. So, be sure to add contact information at the top of your resume. Check everything attentively so that there aren’t any mistakes or typos.


Of course, it’s very important to keep track of the content of your application. Also, don’t neglect the structure and readability of your resume, so that the bots can easily read and sort the information. Basically, there are 3 common resume types: functional, chronological, and hybrid. ATS bots work best the last two types.

Choose a simple format that shows the sequence of your sections without any complex structures. Use uncomplicated lists, preferably with standard list bullets. Remember that many systems ignore headers and footers.

The AT system is programmed to search for specific words, so it’s better to stick to the standard titles for your sections:

  • Contact information (Contacts);
  • Work experience (Professional experience);
  • Skills (Key Skills);
  • Education;
  • Awards and achievements;
  • Languages etc.

Write up to date, and don’t fill out sections of your resume with outdated facts.

File Format

Regardless of your accomplishments, your candidacy may not be approved just because the ATS was not able to extract data from your resume. So, job seekers have to choose the proper file format. The most optimal one is PDF, ATS easily recognizes it – PDF files look the same in any reader and system. In case a particular format is requested by the employers – use it.

Remember, if your resume is in the wrong format, systems will not be able to convert the data from your files into information for their database. Thus, your resume will be invisible to any search query made by a recruiter.

Avoid Common Mistakes

The job market is quite competitive these days. Loads of CVs get rejected during the initial screening process. Here are the most popular mistakes candidates make in their resumes:

  • Use weird fonts, symbols, or unusual markings in lists;
  • Exaggerate the truth;
  • Don’t edit and proofread;
  • Use clichés;
  • Submit the same CV for different positions despite specific requirements and keywords.

Even if a company doesn’t turn to ATS, they still look for key information in your resume. Therefore, fill it with what they’re looking for, and put the most important details on the first page.

7 ways to make sure your resume beats bots – Final Thoughts

Companies all over the world hire hundreds of employees every month and receive thousands of responses for each opening. They often use resume-scanning software during the applicant tracking process. ATS filters applications based on specified criteria – keywords, skills, previous employers, experience and education.

Check your resume several times before submitting it. Proofread it – applicant tracking systems don’t recognize misspelled words. So, don’t let key data be unnoticed.

Following the tips mentioned above, you can avoid common pitfalls. But keep in mind that a real person will be reading your resume afterwards. Therefore, your document should be straightforward so that the hiring manager will easily navigate through the information provided.

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