Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have become a popular tool in the recruitment process. However, many good resumes fail to make their way through these systems due to simple formatting errors. In this article, we would like to share valuable insights on how to create an ATS-friendly resume to increase the chances of your resume being shortlisted by employers.

Here are the top nine formatting mistakes to avoid when creating your resume:

  • Using the wrong date format: Always use MM/YYYY or spell out the month (e.g., March 2023) and ensure to include both the month and year consistently.
  • Confusing Abbreviations: Explain all abbreviations used in your resume to ensure clarity. For example, instead of just using “ERP,” write “Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
  • Adding Fancy Graphics: Avoid using complex graphics and instead keep your resume simple with basic bullet points for easy reading by the ATS.
  • Misusing Headers and Footers: Do not include crucial details in the header or footer. Keep the content in the main body with one-inch margins.
  • Choosing Unusual Fonts: Stick to common fonts like Arial or Times New Roman with a font size of 10 or 12 for readability.
  • Creative Section Headings: Use standard headings such as “Work Experience” instead of unique ones like “Companies I’ve Impacted.”
  • Wrong File Type: Avoid formats like JPG or HTML. Instead, use Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF to ensure compatibility with ATS.
  • Not Proofreading: Typos can be a big turn-off for employers. Use tools like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor to ensure error-free resumes.
  • Treating All ATS the Same: Each ATS is different, so tailor your resume to match the specific ATS you’re submitting to.
Remember, a well-formatted resume can significantly increase your chances of getting shortlisted for a job. Keep your resume simple, clear, and compatible with ATS systems to make a great first impression on prospective employers.
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