Bot-Friendly Resumes: Tailor Your Words for AI Recognition

Navigating the world of job applications can feel like a battle against robots—specifically, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) screening bots. These tools help companies handle the deluge of resumes, but they can also mistakenly overlook qualified candidates. To get our resume through the filters, you need to learn how to speak to the bots in a way they can understand.  Here’s how to tweak your resume to make sure it gets past the bots and onto a real person’s desk.

Use the Right Keywords: Stop using a generic resume.  Dive into the job description and pick out key skills and experiences that you have and are required for the role. Incorporate these keywords naturally throughout your resume, especially under the ‘Skills’ and ‘Experience’ sections. If the job calls for “JavaScript expertise” and “project management skills,” those terms should definitely appear on your resume.

Keep It Simple, Smarty: ATS bots get a headache from too much flair. Stick to a simple, sleek resume layout using classic fonts like Arial or Times New Roman. Avoid the temptation to add fancy headers, footers, or your avant-garde design touches. When in doubt, think clean and clear.  When resumes are too heavily formatted they run the risk of getting auto-rejected as unreadable. 

Customize Your Resume: Send that generic resume packing. Customize your resume for each job by emphasizing the experiences and skills that align best with each role. Not only does this help you hit those keywords, but it also shows you’re not just blasting resumes at random.  Remember also that your unique career path is a differentiator, show your stuff and demonstrate why you deserve solid consideration.  

Cover All Bases with Acronyms: If you have a qualification like a Master’s Degree, don’t just drop an MBA, spell it out.  This helps ensure that bots and ATS recognize it.  It may look cool to have all sorts of acronyms and letters on your resume, but remember that many acronyms can have different meanings depending on the industry – for example, CSP could be Certified Safety Professional, Cloud Service Provider, Computer Support Provider or even Certified Staffing Professional.  Don’t leave it to chance.  

Choose the Right File Type: Unless otherwise stated, submit your resume as a Word document (.doc or .docx). PDF’s are also acceptable, but some ATS systems parse Word files more easily than PDFs.

So, there you have it—your strategy for making ATS bots work in your favor. By tailoring your resume with the right keywords, maintaining a simple layout, and ensuring your qualifications are both spelled out and abbreviated, you’re setting yourself up for success. When you craft your resume in a way that ATS can easily decipher, these bots become less of a barrier and more of a bridge, helping you land that all-important interview.

Ardent Staffing Solutions is a Massachusetts based temporary and permanent placement staffing agency specialized in professional, administrative, and skilled manufacturing placements.

May 9, 2024

Our Passion is People

Let Ardent Staffing Help You Find Your Next Temporary or Permanent Position!

Daphne Phalon, President
Ardent Staffing Solutions

Browse Job Specialties and Industries

Ardent is an expert in connecting talented people with amazing companies.

For Employers: Let Ardent help with all your staffing needs.

Pin It on Pinterest