How to Create an ATS-Friendly Resume for Job Applications

Increase your chances of landing that job.

Mar 7

Photo via Bram Naus on Unsplash

TL;DR: Learning how an applicant tracking system works can help you better gauge the best tools for building an ATS-friendly resume

You're on the job hunt. The internet is overwhelming with all of its postings, platforms, tools, rules, potentially great opportunities, and deafening silences.

You might be asking yourself...

Should I use AI to help me write my resume and cover letters?

Do I need an ATS checker?

What the heck even is an ATS?

How do I maximize my exposure and use my time most efficiently?

These are honestly great questions for job seekers to be asking in 2024. A lot of automation is happening on both ends of the hiring experience. It could be argued that the ATS is at the center of it all.

Understanding What an ATS Is Can Inform Your Job Hunt

According to a LinkedIn guide, "ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System, a software that scans and ranks resumes based on keywords and formatting."

The guide offers some helpful tips for creating an ATS-friendly resume, like using a simple and clear layout, optimizing keywords and phrases, and then proofreading and testing your resume to check if it will pass the system with tools like Jobscan and Resume Worded.

Of course, writing and testing your own resume might require too much legwork to achieve optimal efficiency. This is where AI enters the conversation. 

Can an ATS Detect an AI-Written Resume or Cover Letter?

Photo by on Unsplash

The general consensus online appears to suggest that being filtered out of an opportunity by an ATS system is more likely to happen because of poor formatting and lack of clarity than from using an AI-based tool for help. Jobscan does a fantastic job breaking down ATS resume formatting mistakes.

For example, you could be missing out on a job opportunity because the dates on your resume are formatted incorrectly. Using vague abbreviations and acronyms can hurt you, and important information can go unseen in your header and footer because the ATS reviewing your resume can't read those sections.

Looking at Jobscan's formatting advice and the undeniable lack of quality reliability with modern AI writing, it's paramount that if you use an automation-driven tool to write or help write a resume, you proofread and finalize it with a human eye.

While AI can help you save time drafting, formatting, and ideating, it's probably a good idea to gain a bit of background information and context before diving into AI tools for your job hunt. 

Building a Strong Resume and LinkedIn Profile

Photo via Souvik Banerjee on Unsplash

Learning how to write a resume that's optimized for a particular ATS or job opportunity doesn't have to be costly or tricky.

You can start by securing three hours of well-curated content with Build the Best Resume and LinkedIn Profile by an Award-Winning Professor.

The 61-lesson course features in-depth guides on how to optimize your resume and LinkedIn profile with keywords, plus tips, tricks, hacks, and more. The course is taught by Chris Haroun, an award-winning MBA professor with a 4.5-star average instructor rating. 

This resume and LinkedIn profile guide is only $13 at the moment if you want to check it out.

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Working With an AI Resume Writer

Resoume is AI-assisted resume software that offers automated writing and acts as a hub where you can create, manage, and optimize resumes for applicant tracking systems and specific job opportunities.

You can also create simulated job interviews, build your portfolio, and review analytics on how a particular resume is performing.

For the many who need ATS optimization and who are also open to further support with the overwhelming journey of finding a job, taking a closer look at Resoume is worthwhile. 

Resume building and management with Resoume

If you've been on the job hunt, you know how difficult it can be to update your resume for one role, then reupdate it for another, and then need your older resume for a new application.

The resume section (pictured above) is where you can build and store up to 20 versions of your document—pull the file you need while the iron is hot. 

Resoume supports importing PDFs, LinkedIn resumes, and JSON resumes to get you started.

It also enables you to generate a fresh resume using AI. Simply prompt the AI tool by inputting the URL to the job posting and uploading a reference resume. From there it promises to customize and tailor a fresh, ATS-optimized CV for you and the specific opportunity you're going out for. 

Resoume portfolio building

For creative professionals, programmers, and artisans of all backgrounds, a visually rich portfolio is a much more effective way to demonstrate qualifications than a boring written document.

These memorable showcases also operate outside of the typical ATS system, which can offer a compelling way to stand out from the crowd. 

To serve such job seekers, Resoume's Portfolio Builder feature lets you set one up on the platform with customizable themes, image-upload support, font and color customization, and more.

Optimize your LinkedIn and find jobs via Resoume

To help improve your search, you can also take advantage of Resoumes LinkedIn Profile Reviews, which offer helpful feedback to optimize your profile. You can check the analytics of your resumes and portfolio on the platform, and you can find remote career opportunities on the Resoume Job board. 

We highly recommend the LinkedIn feedback, as it utilizes the HR-industry-specific wisdom of the Resoume team to help you find avenues for improvement that might not be clear to you individually. The job board is also filled with fantastic opportunities, mostly for software engineers. 

When you finally break through the noise and land an interview, Resoume has one more trick up its sleeve to help you prepare as well as possible. 

Prepping for job interviews with Resoume

Photo via Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Resoume takes its job-hunt support a step beyond the written word.

Its Interview Warmup feature simulates a job interview for you based on a resume you have on the platform, a description of your profession, and a description of the job you're applying for. 

From there, you'll be sent to a chatbot window where you can pull up your own video and audio feeds to simulate a video chat-style interview. The chatbot will then engage you with questions about your professional history and qualifications to help you get comfortable with interviewing. 

Resoume goes well beyond ATS optimization when preparing subscribers for job hunting. A lifetime subscription to Resoume's AI assistant resume writer is on sale for $40 (reg. $180).

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Try LazyApply to Cast a Wider Net

While it's important to take your time and tailor each specific resume for a particular job posting and making sure each is optimized with at least one final pass by human eyes, the high volume of postings and applicants out there today does make one wonder if it's possible to optimize distribution. 

One tool designed to help you apply to more jobs faster is LazyApply, which enables you to submit multiple job applications with a single click.

Its Job GPT plugin automatically fills in applications based on your general information, and the platform promises to use advanced algorithms that ensure "your profiles will never get blocked by platforms."

You can submit up to 150 applications per day with its basic plan, a lifetime of which is available for $68 (reg. $149).

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Discovering an Approach That Works for You

Now that you know a little bit more about how to check if your resume will pass an ATS, it's time to try some different approaches to building on that knowledge.

Whether through an online class or experimenting with an online resume-writing platform, you can develop your method for generating ATS-friendly resumes for the job and life opportunities you desire most. 

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