As a fresh graduate, you must be looking to take the next step on your professional journey, crafting a winning resume is your first big step. In today’s job market, many employers use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS-friendly Resume) to streamline their hiring processes.
To maximize your chances of getting noticed and securing your dream job, make sure to create an ATS-friendly resume tailored for freshers. But before we deep dive into how you can write an ATS-friendly resume, let’s first understand what an ATS is and why it’s important.
What is an ATS?
Applicant Tracking Systems, or ATS, is a type of automated software used by employers and recruiters during the hiring process to collect, sort, scan, and rank the job applications they receive for their open positions to manage and screen incoming job applications.
What is an ATS-friendly resume?
An ATS-friendly resume is a resume that’s designed to work well with computer software used by employers to screen job applications.
If you create your resume with ATS software in mind, your chances of making your resume stand out in front of the hiring manager increase, which is one step closer to landing an interview.
Now let’s understand how you can write an ATS-friendly resume as a fresher.
How to write an ATS-friendly resume ?
Here are ten ways to make sure you get through the ATS software:
Start with a clear headline
Start your resume with a clear and straightforward heading. Include your full name, contact details (email, phone number), and optionally, a link to your LinkedIn profile.
Make sure the formatting is simple and easy to read.
Do : 1. Include essential contact information .
2. Keep it simple and professional.
Don’t: 1. Use Decorative Fonts or elaborate designs .
2. Overload this section with unnecessary details.
Use Standard Section Headings
Keep your resume well-organized by using standard section headings like “Summary,” “Education,” “Skills,” “Experience,” and “References.”
ATS systems are familiar with these labels, making it easier for them to categorize your information.
Do : 1. Use recognized section titles .
2. Maintain a consistent format.
Don’t : 1. Create custom or creative section headings.
2. Overcomplicate the organization.
Craft a Powerful Summary Statement
Your summary statement should serve as a snapshot of your qualifications and career goals. Tailor it to the job you’re applying for, highlighting your relevant skills and aspirations.
Do: 1. Customize your summary for each application.
2. Highlight your strengths and career objectives
Don’t : 1. Make it too lengthy; keep it concise.
2. Include irrelevant details.
“Detail-oriented recent graduate with a passion for data analysis and a track record of consistently exceeding sales targets. Looking for an entry-level role in marketing to apply and expand my skills.”
Highlight Your Education
Highlight your educational background, including your degree, graduation date, and GPA (if it’s strong). You can also add some relevant courses, projects, or certificates you have taken. These will show that you’re a qualified candidate with a strong knowledge in the field.
Use ATS resume keywords
Using the right resume keywords is essential. An ATS resume must follow the pattern set out in the job offer. So take a good look at the job description, and add the keywords, imitating the language of the job posting.
Do : Align your resume’s keywords with the job description.
Don’t: Use excessive or irrelevant keywords.
Use a common resume font
The best resume fonts to get past the ATS are common and easy to read. When in doubt, use the basic fonts like Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, or Georgia.
Do : Choose a standard and easily readable font.
Don’t : Try using fonts that are unusual or decorative, which may make ATS difficult to read.
Save your resume as a PDF or document.
Some older ATS software has trouble understanding resume PDF files, but if the job listing doesn’t specify what file format to save your resume in, then PDF and document should both work.
Avoid graphics and tables
While you may be tempted to use graphics or tables, ATS systems can struggle with them. Stick to a text-based format for easy parsing.
- Opt for a text-based format.
- Keep the layout simple and clean.
Always quantify your achievements with numbers and percentages to highlight your results. This will make your resume even more powerful and demonstrate its impact.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Why is it important to write an ATS-friendly resume for each job?
A. It’s important because it shows you really want the job and helps the computer find your resume among many others.
Q. How can I quantify my achievements on my resume?
A. Use specific numbers or percentages to highlight the impact you’ve made in previous roles. For example, “I managed a team of 10 and improved project efficiency, resulting in a 30% reduction in production time.”
Q. Can I add volunteer work and internships to my resume?
A. Yes, you can include your volunteer work or any project that demonstrates relevant experience and passion, even if you’re a fresher.
Q. What are common mistakes to avoid while writing an ATS-friendly resume?
A. Common mistakes include using unusual fonts, complex graphics, complex formatting, not using keywords, and neglecting to customize your resume for each job application.
Wrapping it up…
Writing an ATS-friendly resume is an important step for freshers aiming to land their dream jobs. By following the above points, you can write/create an ATS-friendly resume for each application, which will increase your chances of getting noticed by employers.
Your resume is your first opportunity to make a positive impression during the job search, so make sure it’s the best it can be.