How to Create An ATS-Optimized CV/Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you wondering why your CV is never selected and considered for an interview or the next step of the hiring process?

It might be because your current CV isn’t optimized and does not pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) used by recruiters to shortlist candidates for job openings.

ATS systems have become significant in modern recruitment processes, and understanding them could be your ticket to landing that dream job.

Let’s dive right in and go through everything you need to know about ATS Systems, and how you can beat it, one step at a time!

Understanding What ATS Systems Are for CVs/Resumes

Before diving into the depths of crafting a stellar resume, it’s essential to get acquainted with what the ATS Systems are all about. ATS is a software used by many companies to sort through countless resumes efficiently.

These systems are designed to help recruiters and hiring managers identify the best candidates for a job by analyzing resumes based on certain keywords and criteria.

No more manual screening of CVs, instead, ATS will select and shortlist candidates based on the content of their resumes versus a job description.

The Importance of Keywords

Now, let’s talk about the heart of the ATS Systems – Keywords.

These systems are pretty savvy, filtering resumes by searching for specific keywords that match the job description using algorithms and artificial intelligence.

Hence we always advocate for tailoring your CV for a specific job description, to make sure your resume is packed with relevant keywords that will make the ATS (and the hiring manager) happy.

Formatting Matters

You’ve probably spent hours making your resume look pleasing to impress the next employer. While that’s not a bad thing, ATS systems prefer simplicity over complexity.

When it comes to formatting, keeping it clean and straightforward is the way to go.

Avoid graphics, tables, and complex layouts as they might trip up the system.

Stick to standard fonts and bullet points to present your information clearly.

Tailoring Your CV for Each Job

Yes, we know it sounds like a lot of work, but tailoring your CV for each job application can significantly increase your chances of passing through the ATS Systems successfully.

Compare your resume with the job description and make sure to incorporate phrases and terms used in the job posting.

Proofread to Perfection

ATS systems are pretty strict about spelling and grammar. A tiny mistake could mean your resume gets tossed in the no-go pile.

Take time to proofread your CV meticulously, ensuring there are no errors that might hinder your chances of making a great first impression, past the ATS screening phase.

Testing Your CV/Resume Against ATS

Before you start sending out your resume, test it against an ATS to see how it fares.

There are several online tools available that can help you do this.

These tools will provide you with insights into how well your resume matches the job description and suggest improvements to increase your chances of getting shortlisted.


Good luck with your job hunt!

Remember, a well-optimized CV/resume can be your golden ticket to landing that dream job. So, make friends with the ATS Systems and let them help guide your career journey to new heights.