ATS Resume Test – Free ATS Checker and Formatting Examples

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) this is what we will be talking about today. Do you know what an Applicant Tracking System is? Have you heard of an Applicant Tracking System before? Do you know what an Applicant Tracking System is used for?

Applicant Tracking System

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is an application that most employers use today to screen through the numerous/ thousands of resumes that they receive to determine if the most qualified and relevant candidates for a job post.

It is these candidates that pass through ATS that are forwarded to the hiring manager for interviews. Otherwise, it would take an unlimited timeframe to manually read through all the resumes that a job post attracts today.

How Does an Applicant Tracking System Work?

The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a-resume-scanning software. This scanning software is designed to scan any resume posted online. It scans a resume for work experience, education, skills, and any other information that is relevant to the requirements of the hiring position.

In doing so, an Applicant Tracking System is able to determine the resume that is the best match for the advertised position. Once the software does this, the resume will be automatically forwarded to the company’s hiring manager.

On the other hand, any resume that doesn’t pass the Applicant Tracking System test will be rejected.

Why Use Applicant Tracking System?

Well, the job market has become highly competitive. There are so many qualified candidates for almost every position. Reading through all their applications can be demanding and almost impossible within a company’s framework. That’s why we need ATS.

More importantly, the technology is changing fast. Many companies are technology-based and the more you understand the concept the better. It starts with simple things such as an ATS pass. Many qualified candidates have been rejected for positions since their resumes didn’t pass through the ATS test.

Tips for Making an ATS Compatible Resume

If you want a resume that will pass the Applicant Tracking System test, here are the five things that you must keep in mind.

Standard Formatting for ATS

The first thing you should do is to use standard formatting. If you make use of the best standard formatting style for your resume, ATS will easily go through it, understand the concept, and pass the resume.

To get the simplest design for a resume that the ATS software will understand easily, you should avoid any of the following things:

  • Images
  • Designs
  • Charts
  • Tables

When you avoid the use of complex diagrams and formatting styles, you will achieve a clear and concise CV/ resume design, which will be is easy for the Applicant Tracking System to process and understand.

More importantly, hiring managers also require a resume that’s easy to follow and understand. Anything complex may develop a miscommunication.

Keyword Optimization

Arguably the most important element when it comes to Applicant Tracking System, keyword optimization is very important.

It helps the resume to beat the ATS system by focusing on the most relevant things, the job post keywords.

What are these keywords? In line with the job post or vacancy, keywords here will refer to the words that the advert emphasized on and which the ATS has been tailored to look for in your resume.

For instance, ATS may be tailored to look for words that match your industry or the job description that you are applying for.

In either case, your resume will be best placed if it already contains the core industry/ job description keywords. ATS often goes with the listed requirements.

A good example is this. If you are applying for an office assistant’s position and the position requires knowledge of the Excel and Quickbooks, then ATS will be looking for those two words (Excel and Quickbooks).

So make sure that these two words are listed under the skills section/in the right place within your resume.

NOTE: You can always make a list of your core competencies. If you do so, you will have an easy time swapping keywords when applying for various positions.

Always Work with Word

Don’t bring about complex files when preparing your resume. Just like we said under formatting, if you use a complex format to save your resume, ATS will have a hard time reading through it too.

A word document, which is a Docx file, is very easy for the ATS software to process. It is, therefore, preferred by the majority of the hiring managers. Even so, the ATS has improved over time and now processes PDFs. However, they still have a few troubles with them.

Having Abbreviations: Spell Them Out

If you have abbreviations in your resume, make sure that you spell them out. ATS software will not understand every abbreviation that you choose to use in your resume. Unfortunately, if it doesn’t, it will throw out your resume.

That’s why it is advisable that whenever you are writing your resume, you should spell out all the abbreviations. The truth is that you can never know when the ATS software will come into play.

NOTE: The ATS will most likely be looking for a non-abbreviated form rather than the abbreviated one. So spelling it out is a bonus and it helps the ATS software to understand what you do before it can pick it for another industry.

Stick with Relevant Info

Finally, the reason why the ATS software scans your resume is to confirm that it contains the relevant information. If it didn’t, then people would present 5 pages of accounting experience to a sales job. In case you don’t have any relevant experience to include, you can go with the educational experience instead.


Any resume that has been tailored for a job should focus more on the relevancy of the resume to the job in question. This means that once you are through for an interview, you could have a chance to land the job too.

However, this comes down to how best you can tailor a great resume. Working with professional resume writers will be ideal.


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