When it comes to applying for jobs, your CV (or curriculum vitae) is often the first point of contact between you and a potential employer. However, with the rise of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), it’s essential to ensure your CV is formatted in a way that can easily be read and understood by these systems. According to TopCV, 98% of large companies use ATS as part of their recruitment, and roughly 75% of CVs will never be seen by a human being. That’s why we’ll be outlining six ways you can make your CV ATS-friendly and increase your chances of getting noticed by recruiters.
Use a simple and consistent layout
The first step in creating an ATS-friendly CV is to keep the layout simple and consistent. Stick to a basic font, such as Arial or Calibri, and avoid using too many colours, images, or graphics. Use bullet points to break up the text and make it easy to read. Avoid using tables and columns as these elements can confuse the ATS and cause it to misread your CV.
Use keywords and phrases from the job description
The second way to make your CV ATS-friendly is to include relevant keywords and phrases from the job description. The ATS scans CVs for keywords that match the job requirements, so including these terms in your CV can increase your chances of being shortlisted. Review the job description and identify the keywords and phrases that relate to your skills and experience, and then incorporate them into your CV.
To keep it ATS-friendly, highlight your skills and achievements
The third way to make your CV ATS-friendly is to highlight your skills and achievements. Use bullet points to showcase your skills and experience and be sure to include any relevant achievements or awards. This will help the ATS identify your strengths and match them to the job requirements. Here are some helpful tips on highlighting your skills on your CV.
Use clear and concise language to keep it ATS-friendly
The fourth way to make your CV ATS-friendly is to use clear and concise language. Avoid using jargon or industry-specific terms that the ATS may not recognise. Use short sentences and bullet points to break up the text and make it easy to read. Keep your CV to a maximum of two pages and be sure to use proper grammar and spelling.
Include relevant education and qualifications
The fifth way to make your CV ATS-friendly is to include relevant education and qualifications. The ATS looks for specific qualifications and certifications that match the job requirements, so be sure to include these in your CV. Highlight any relevant coursework or training that you’ve completed and include the name of the institution and the dates you attended.
Save your CV in an ATS-friendly format
The final way to make your CV ATS-friendly is to save it in a compatible format. Most ATS systems prefer CVs that are saved in a Word document or a PDF. However, be sure to check the job posting for any specific instructions regarding the format of the CV. Additionally, avoid using any special characters, such as bullet points or symbols. These can cause formatting issues when the CV is uploaded to the ATS.
Creating an ATS-friendly CV can significantly increase your chances of getting noticed by recruiters. By using a simple and consistent layout, incorporating relevant keywords and phrases, highlighting your skills and achievements, using clear and concise language, including relevant education and qualifications, and saving your CV in a compatible format, you can make your CV stand out and increase your chances of landing your dream job.