Applicant Tracking System (ATS) resume checkers have become a topic of conversation lately, and often there is misinformation surrounding the subject. So, what is an ATS? In simple terms, it is a computer program that is designed to scan resumes for certain keywords and weed out the ones that don’t match the job description. In many cases, individuals are running their resume through ATS checkers to see how their resume rates. However, like most technology, these do not come without their faults. So, today, we want to delve deeper into the problems with ATS resume checkers. 

Currently, there are over 520 ATS systems available, with some ranking higher than others. With such a significant selection to choose from, and each one functioning differently, it is impossible to know exactly which one is being used for the organization for which you are applying. Therefore, if you run your resume through an ATS resume checker that you find through a Google search, its rating isn’t reliable as it can’t predict what software will be used by the company. Rating high, or low, on a resume checker isn’t an indication of how your resume will rate through another software program. 

ATS software, as well as ATS checkers, have no universal standards or regulations. Due to this fact, your resume could score high on one test, and significantly lower on another.  

When crafting a resume, there are many different factors that come into play for our resume writers. It is important to look carefully at the job posting as there are likely obvious keywords that will be mentioned that you should include in your resume. However, others won’t be as noticeable. ATS software used by organizations will be programmed for different keywords, and there is an element of risk and luck to predict what those will be. Because our team is so comprehensive with the resumes we write, along with our experience in Human Resourcing in a variety of industries, helps us uncover and use as many keywords as possible. 

It is also important to remember that, while keywords are important, they need to be used strategically and appropriately. If your resume passes the ATS software, and is high scoring, it will be read by a human, therefore, it must appeal to both.

“You need the experience, and qualifications because sooner or later in the review process a human looks at the resume and if you lack these you are instantly rejected.”


Without knowing exactly what ATS software is being used and what keywords it is seeking, resume checkers aren’t a reliable indicator of whether your resume will successfully pass. 

Another issue that arises regarding resume checkers is that many resume writing companies use them to generate business. For example, you may seek out the advice and expertise of a company, and they offer to run your resume through an ATS checkers of their choosing. What happens? Your resume scores low, and they can convince you that to rank higher you must complete options A, B and C. In many cases, method is used as a sales tool to bait people into a sale. 

With over 39 years of experience in marketing careers from students entering the workforce to C-Suite executives, our team has written an extensive amount of resumes, and with that has come valuable knowledge and expertise that we put into each resume we write. It is important to take ATS Resume Checkers with a grain of salt, as they aren’t the be all and end all for the success of your resume. Since there isn’t a universal standard, with the variety of options and keywords, they can’t be completely relied upon. 

Our team has extensive experience in a plethora of industries, which gives us valuable insight. Our resumes have more keywords than most people even realize they should be using. This has a bearing on the topic when people know how to relate the keywords to the job and to the resume. 

If you would like to discuss your resume and ATS software with our team, we would love to hear from you.