Fail-Proof Secrets to Optimize Your Resume For ATS

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According to recent statistics, close to 72% of all job applications submitted are never read by an actual human. This is due to advancements in technology and the development of different vetting tools. One such tool is the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

While you might be startled by these numbers, you will be shocked to know that close to 62% of all the employers who subscribe to using this software actually disputed that a vast majority of qualified applicants are filtered out by the system, by mistake. Are you surprised by that? 

While technology has been adored as the only way to perfection, you might know that they can as well be faulty sometimes. However, the good news is that there are myriads of ways to work around these mistakes. 

Basically, the Applicant Tracking System works by skimming through an applicant’s resumes at a lightning speed to determine whether the candidate meets the requirements needed by the company. 


The matrix actually works by information pre-fed to the system by the employer. Even more daunting to applicants, is that all ATS systems have a customized standardized system. This makes it difficult for applicants to know what standards are required. 

While this may sound devastating to many applicants, there are different techniques you can use to optimize your resume. Read along to find out the secrets on how you can successfully get your resume past ATS to the hiring manager. 

1.Double-Check for Typos

While this may sound obvious, many applicants fail to get their resume through the ATS due to the presence of avoidable typos on their resumes. Always remember that there is no second chance to the first impression. According to different employers, it only takes one typo for the ATS to disregard a resume. This is because the ATS has been designed to automatically disqualify any resume that does not meet the required standards.

So, if you want to stand out from the rest and sail through the process with ease, it’s important to ensure that you double-check your resume for any typos before sending it. You can use different, free online grammar tools to help you. 

Even so, once you’ve passed your resume through these tools, ensure to pass the copy to a friend or two. After all, you can never be too sure!

2. Ensure to Keep Your Resume Simple

Making your resume immaculate does not mean that you have to jazz it up. More often, you might be tempted to spice up your resume with different colors, font sizes, and even pictures. Avoid such temptation at all costs. 

But why should you avoid this? Well, the simple answer is that most ATS systems identify resumes with extra designs as a distraction. If you really have to juice up your resume, ensure to add no more than 2 different font sizes.

3. Use Keywords

Just like in marketing, keywords play an integral role in ensuring that your resume sails through the ATS. But how can you infuse keywords successfully to your resume?

In order to do this successfully, you should first of all have an in-depth understanding of the job description. Whether you are writing your resume afresh or simply updating it, ensure to have the job description close to you. Once you have the job description, you can then use it to identify major keywords that you can include in your resume. For example, if jobs for Indians in the US are in the job description, ensure to add it as it is in your resume. This way, the ATS will quickly identify the major information, in terms of the keywords, making it more likely that your resume will be forwarded to the hiring manager.

Otherwise, if you fail to include at least 50% of the keywords in a job description, you can as well forget to be invited for an interview.

4. Include Only The Relevant Information

While you will be required to add your job experience and skills on your resume, only include relevant job experience and skills. Most applicants fail to realize that unnecessary information adds no value to their resumes. Adding additional information can be a good way to impress a recruiter. However, since most companies now use ATS, you can rest assured that the chances of your resume going through to the hiring manager will be close to zero once you disregard the information you add. 

Additionally, it’s important to know that a vast majority of companies are less interested in jobs that are irrelevant to the job that is being advertised. An ATS will only recognize any relevant job you add. So, trying to impress the system by adding other irrelevant jobs won’t be of any help to you.