Career Blog > Resume Formats: Choosing the right one for you > Resume Tips: How to Survive an ATS
If you send your resume to a large corporation, then your credentials will probably get caught up in an application tracking system, also known as an ATS. Small business owners have time to go through the relatively small amount of resumes they get on a regular basis, but large corporations found it impractical to spend money on having human resources professionals go through every resume that was submitted. Since just about every resume is submitted electronically, ATS software is used to screen resumes. The average ATS has criteria set by the company that screens out resumes that do not fit the company’s job requirements. The resumes that get through the screening process are then forwarded on to hiring managers for consideration. It can sound frustrating to have a piece of software reject your resume before a human even reads it, but these resume tips will help you format your resume so that you can survive an ATS screen.

Use Concise Sentences

One of the surest ways to get your resume rejected by an ATS is to use fluff words and words that have no reason to be on your resume in the first place. The ATS scans your resume looking for pertinent keywords and if it finds an overabundance of fluff, then it will reject your resume immediately. If you want to get past the ATS, then use concise sentences and only deal in language that talks directly about your field.

Customize Your Keywords Based on Job Ad

Does the company website refer to the available sales position as a sales professional or a sales associate? The clues as to what kinds of keywords an ATS are looking for can be found in the job descriptions and ads the company runs. If you want to get your resume through the ATS, then study the keywords the company uses in its information and put those keywords in your resume.

Reach Beyond Your Resume

Social media and website content are often part of the wide array of information that an ATS will look for. Once your resume is submitted to an ATS, that software will scour the internet to find out as much as it can about you and your background. If you want to give the ATS all of the information it needs, then start using the company keywords on your social media sites and your job hunting website, if you have one. The ATS will want to compile as much information as it can about you and your background and using the company’s keywords in your social media profile will help tremendously.

Craft a Professional Resume

The ATS is not your only obstacle in your job hunt. The keywords may work fine on the ATS, but your resume will eventually get to a human reader who will be looking for quality content. You need to make sure that your resume looks professional and has the kind of information a human would need, as well as ATS software. If you want to create the ideal resume that will get past the ATS software and impress human hiring managers, these resume tips will get you started. If you develop a customized, keyword-centric resume that displays your skills professionally, you’re sure to advance beyond the screening.

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