Critical Do’s and Don’ts Related to Applicant Tracking Systems

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write a CV for Resume Scanners and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Critical Do’s and Don’ts Related to Applicant Tracking Systems

  • When applying for a specific position, do use that job title on the cv.
  • Do include the descriptor “phone:” and “email:” in front of the phone number and email address so the ATS can identify this information.
  • When listing dates for employment or education, do list dates to the right of the information.
  • Do consider including section headers in ALL CAPS to make it easy for the applicant tracking system to categorize the information.
  • If you are working toward a degree or certification that is a requirement for the position, do include it on the cv — but make sure you include a phrase such as “Pursuing (name of credential)” or “Degree anticipated (date).”
  • Do check your email after applying for a position online. Some applicant tracking systems acknowledge submissions, but these automated responses may be diverted to your spam folder.
  • Do be mindful of special characters and accents you use on your cv. Some words and phrases can be misinterpreted by an applicant tracking system — for example, accented words. The word “cv” itself is not ATS-friendly. The ATS does not recognize the accented letters. Instead, it reads it as “r?sum?.”
  • Don’t list your credentials (MBA, CPA, etc.) next to your name. Include that information on a separate line.
  • Don’t include skills you don’t possess on the cv as an attempt to “trick” the applicant tracking system into selecting you. (Remember, the cv will eventually be reviewed by a human.)
  • Don’t mix different fonts and sizes in your cv.
  • Don’t submit multiple cvs to the same company. Applicant tracking systems have a memory — all those previous submissions remain in the system. You can apply to multiple, related positions, but make sure the cv information is consistent (i.e., the number of years in a particular job, for example), because the hiring manager will have access to the other versions too.

 

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