We speak quite often about Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) as well as ATS resume checkers. There are many ways in which you can successfully craft your resume to help pass the ATS. However, there are also many ways in which you can sink your resume before it even has a chance to successfully swim through the software. Today, we want to discuss in more detail the things you should avoid when it comes time to write your resume. 

Keep it simple 

When it comes to your resume, people often get caught up in what it looks like. However, the success of your resume relies much more on what your resume says, rather than how it appears. ATS software responds better to resumes that are formatted in a simple style as stated in an article from The Medium, “use a simple, standard resume format. Avoid unique layouts, tables, columns, headers, and footers which may confuse ATS parsers.” 

Since ATS software doesn’t recognize these areas, the information included becomes invisible. Therefore, the text will not be scored in your overall rating, which can significantly impact the likelihood of your resume scoring high enough to make it to the next level.  

“ATS cannot read headers, footers, text boxes, tables, columns, or color ink.”-Forbes

Avoid graphics, images and charts 

While it might be tempting to spruce up your resume with some pops of colour, interesting graphics, charts, or images, it is imperative to note that ATS deems these extra efforts as useless. Some people think that these additions will help them stand out. However, they actually hurt the chances of your resume making it through the software.  

As stated in an article from CNBC Make It, “ATS gets tripped up by any images, photos, logos, graphics, charts or tables that you might have included within the document. Even unusual fonts or fancy stylized bullet points, like an arrow, can be a problem.”  

Ditch the templates 

There are many different resume writing companies that simply input your information into an already existing template. This can be damaging to your resume, and your job search journey, as ATS does not appreciate the use of templates. Since most resume templates, whether found online or through a resume writing company, contain a combination of fields, columns, text boxes and tables. These can confuse the ATS system, and you run the risk of your information not being read by the software. 

We understand the temptation to add these formatting elements to your resume. However, through our years of experience, and research, you truly are doing yourself and your resume a disservice by including them. Even for creative industries, your portfolio is where your artistry will shine, not through your resume.  

When you hire the team at Resumes with Results, you hire us for our expertise in wordsmithing. We will ensure your resume showcases you in the best light, all while keeping the ATS in mind.  

If you have questions, or concerns about your resume, contact us today