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1) Ensuring that the format can be parsed by the ATS
2) Ensuring that the resume content is optimized for the ATS
For #1, there are a few general tips I can share:
a) Keep the formatting simple and clean. Elements that the ATS tends to NOT like include: images, logos, headers / footers, columns, tables, custom fonts, etc. The ATS usually only reads information in the body of the document, so don't put important information in headers or footers!
b) Stick to traditional section headings. The common ones that the ATS will expect are things like: Education, Work Experience, Volunteering, etc.
Here's a link for ATS-friendly templates that you can try: https://www.jobscan.co/blog/20-ats-friendly-resume-templates/
Overall though, ATS are usually not good at parsing documents. Always double check to ensure that the information is inputted correctly. If you change it so that it's correct in the employer's system, you should be fine.
Now, on point #2, don't forget about content! The ATS's aim is to scan your content and try to see if you're a match for the position. It does this by analyzing *key words*. How do you optimize your resume?
The first step is to read and understand the job posting. What are they looking for? They'll usually highlight specific experiences and skills they want to see.
Then, mine through your history and experiences. What have you done that could demonstrate those skills? You've probably done a lot more than you'd think! When explaining those experiences on your resume, try to fit the wording that is used in the job posting so that it slightly mirrors what the ATS is looking for. This is all simply about communicating your own experiences and skills in a way that the ATS will like. For example, maybe you have an experience that shows you're a "self-starter". That's great! But maybe the job posting lists "initiative". To be safe, I'd use the "takes initiative" terminology over "self-starter" since they mean the same thing, but the former aligns with the job posting.
As a general reminder, try to make your bullets about your impact and accomplishments as much as possible, as opposed to listing your responsibilities! When your resume eventually gets to a *human*, they will love to see that. Quantifying impact is always a huge positive!
100% of 1 Students