How To Write A Resume: For ATS And Human Review

how to write a resume

TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE IN HR FIELD – Advancements in automation and artificial intelligence technologies has increased the efficiency of many companies. These advancements have enabled many companies to gradually reduce the size of their workforce. Technological advancement has not only impacted the actual work environment, but it has also made an important impact on the work recruitment process as well. In the HR field, the job application, review and recruitment process has been enhanced with a new piece of technology, the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Whereas candidates were once able to submit their resume for human review, now their resume must pass through an automated digital screening system before it can earn a chance to be viewed by an actual human.

INTRODUCTION TO THE ATS REVIEW – At the turn of the century, employees began to apply to job postings over the web, rather than through a manual delivery of their resume directly to the hiring manger. Though this seemed easier and more advantageous to the job seeker, over time, this new process had placed many qualified job seekers at a disadvantage. Many more people all around the world were able to find job postings on the web. As a result, many job advertisements received hundreds, and sometimes possibly even thousands of resumes depending on the employer. Employers could not review in sufficient detail all of the applicants, and as a result, many employers adopted a digital screening system to screen applicants as part of the new digitally enhanced recruitment process. This system was called the Applicant Tracking System, or ATS.

As part of the new process, the candidates submitted their resumes digitally to an advertised position, and then the employers took the various submissions and ran them through an Applicant Tracking System. The ATS scanned the resumes in an attempt to compare the submitted content against the requirements as outlined in the job description. The ATS then compared the job requirements against the resumes, mainly in the areas of work experience, education and skills. The ATS then measured the relevance of each resume as compared to the requirements and ranked all resumes according to their level of match to the job descriptions.

One of the reasons that ATS systems were adopted had to do with the fact that many HR professionals would give up on reviewing absolutely every single resume that showed up in their inbox. The workload was too overwhelming! Though ATS technologies were adopted to help HR cope wit the fact that they now received a very high number of online applications, these technologies introduced new problems. Many ATS systems would scan resumes of qualified and strong candidates and rated them as not a match. This happened because the candidates did not optimize their resumes for a computer system, and instead often formatted their resumes in a complex way so as to please human reviewers. In many companies, up to 75% of resumes were rejected because they were not properly formatted or optimized for scanning into an ATS system. For these reasons, it is critical to understand the ATS system and to construct a resume in such a way so as to be a fit for this system.

However, many candidates did not construct their resumes according to the new requirements of the ATS. Either the candidates did not know about the new requirements or they underestimated the importance of the ATS in the recruitment process. Many candidates believed the ATS to be a new and unimportant gimmick or novelty. This was a big mistake. Unless a resume is optimized for the ATS, it is likely not able to pass the screening process, and therefore, it is not going to make it to a human for review. In this guide, we will show you how to write a resume for both ATS and human review. We will discuss concepts that are relevant to current ATS technology as well as next generation ATS technology. This insight will help you to construct a resume that will make a high impact on both software and on people.


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