How to Create an ATS Friendly CV

ATS CV, Flow Talent

If you’re looking for a new position, then you have probably heard ‘ATS’ referenced by now. You might even be wondering if the ATS is missing your CV entirely and feel that landing a new role now means getting past the ‘robots’ before a person even sees your CV.

Firstly, lets quickly cover what an ATS is:

ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System. An ATS is software for recruiters and employers to track candidates throughout the recruiting and hiring process.

It will read a CV in the same as a person would, looking for key pieces of information to narrow the applicant pool by searching for specific keywords, skills and experience.

For example, if our consultants are looking for a candidate with a Bachelor’s degree in law, they can run this search on our system and all relevant profiles will be pulled up. They can then narrow their candidate pool from there based on other client requirements – this then leaves them with a shortlist of people to contact regarding the job opportunity.

How does ATS impact you as an applicant?

It doesn’t! It is simply a data management tool – an ATS does not reject or delete your CV, in fact it stores it securely for future opportunities too, not just the role you have applied for.

What can you do to make your CV ATS friendly?

  • Make sure your CV has a clear layout and structure – When designing your CV, you should avoid:
    • Columns, Headers and footers
    • Hyperlinks on important words
    • Images, logos, graphics, graphs, or other visuals
    • Tables and text boxes
    • Uncommon section headings and fonts
  • Use the same format: follow the same format for dates, company names and job titles – this helps all the information make its way into the ATS correctly.
  • Type it out! An ATS cannot read images, logos or infographics.
  • Use the right file type: As we mentioned above, an ATS can’t read images – make sure your CV is either a Word Doc or PDF file.
  • Include important keywords: Job-related skills are often some of the first things the ATS will look for. For example, if you have experience using specific software that is required, make sure this is mentioned in your CV!
  • Does your email address match? Are you submitting your applications from an email ID different to the one on your CV? An ATS system will pick up the email ID on your CV – make sure you are submitting applications from the email ID you use/check regularly and that it is the same one listed on your CV.
  • Don’t try to trick the ATS: You might have come across some advice on how to tweak your CV to trick an ATS; from pasting keywords and an entire job description in white or repeating the keywords as many times as possible in your CV. Perhaps you even thought about adding a section labeled “keywords” where you place words from the job description – Don’t do this! Why? Because anything in white will immediately be discovered as the ATS will display all text in the same colour on the other end.

We hope you found this useful, for more candidate tips – follow us on LinkedIn!

About Flow Talent

Flow Talent have been sourcing the best BankingTechnology, Financial Services, Legal & Compliance professionals locally and internationally for leading organisations across the Middle East region since 2018.

To view our latest vacancies in the Middle East, click here.