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How to Beat the ATS Checker and Get the Job You Deserve

Susan Ranford -- Five must-know tips to get your resume past the electronic gatekeepers and on to the decision makers.

Finding a new job tests your self-esteem. Every time you apply for a job and don’t get a response, you probably feel that all other candidates are more educated, savvier with technology, and better connected.

This may not be the case.

Perhaps the only reason you do not hear back is that your resume is not written to beat an ATS checker.

For those of you not familiar with this technology, ATS stands for Applicant Tracking Systems. Large companies use ATS to organize the information found in their applicants’ resumes. Here’s how it works. When you submit an electronic copy of your resume to a company’s human resources department, someone within that department will run the text through the ATS. The text will be stored in a database, with individual bits of information and keywords attached to your name.

When a hiring manager looks for a group of candidates to interview for a position, he or she will search for a group who meet specific criteria. The hiring manager may search for candidates with a particular degree or professional qualification. He or she may also search for keywords relevant to a specific industry.

Chances are, if you have not heard of an ATS checker, your resume is not formatted to beat one. While it’s good news that the other candidates are not necessarily more educated or connected, the bad news is that they may actually be savvier with technology. The other candidates probably have resumes optimized for ATS checkers.

It is time for you to rewrite your resume to beat an ATS checker. It’s time for you to get the job that you deserve. Here are some hints on how to do that.


No, finding a job should not require you to kiss the right people. KISS stands for “keep it simple, stupid.” Even though the acronym makes the advice more memorable, the overall message is essential when designing a resume.

Remove photos, clip art, images, and unique fonts from your resume. For some reason, ATS checkers do not appreciate these creative elements. Stick to boring, old classic fonts with no funny characters or shading. Times New Roman or Arial would work just fine.

Avoid being cheeky

Although you may want to stand out from the crowd by organizing your resume using clever headings, your attempt to be unique may backfire. Use the same old, titles everyone else uses. You will have a chance to show the hiring manager your uniqueness after you get an interview.

The same thing goes for using British spellings of words if you are applying for U.S.-based jobs. Although it is crucial for the hiring manager to know that you are a pro at Salesforce, listing it as a “Programme” may confuse the ATS.

Be careful with acronyms

Most job environments use plenty of acronyms, especially if you work in government or education. Make sure that the hiring manager can find your specific resume by not only spelling out abbreviations but using the initials as well. For example, some hiring managers will look for “SEO strategists,” and others may look for a search engine optimization strategist.

Write your resume specific to the job

If you are intrigued by a particular job listing, you may want to spend the extra time reformatting your resume, so it is written with specific keywords for the job. To find those keywords, scan the job listing. If you are not applying for a particular job, it would be prudent to be at least familiar with the keywords associated with that industry. Sprinkle those keywords through your resume so the hiring manager can find you.

Have professionals scan your resume

You’ve bought a new suit and shoes to prepare for the interviewing process. You may have even whitened your teeth and quaffed your hair. You know that you need to put your best foot forward to impress your hiring manager.

So why would you assume that your resume doesn’t need that same sort of attention? Why would you go to a professional to have your hair cut and colored but choose not to have a professional review the most important document of your career?

While friends and family can proof your resume, have your career center or an industry professional critique your information before you submit. This way you cover all the bases, beat those darn ATS checkers, and get the job you have trained for.

While there are many resume writing services, ZipJob guarantees that you will receive more interviews from a resume written by their staff. If you don't, they will rewrite the resume for you for free. ZipJob also knows how to write a resume that will beat those darn ATS checkers. Get the job you have trained for, and the role that you deserved. Let ZipJob assist you with the process.

Susan Ranford is the founder of Strategics360, which is committed to providing business and IT professional insightful tips and advice on strategic leadership. For more on resume ATS compliance, and to get your resume past ATS, visit ZipJob guarantees that you will receive more interviews from a resume written by their staff. If you don't, they will rewrite the resume for you for free so you get the role you deserve.

© 2019 Susan Ranford

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal, financial, or medical professional.