How to Check if My Resume is ATS-friendly
 By Vidhi Mishra       Apr 20,2023

Are you applying for jobs online and are waiting for a response? Your resume might need to be ATS-friendly. Many companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to screen resumes and narrow the candidate pool. This means your resume needs to be optimized for ATS compatibility to increase your chances of getting hired. In this guide, we will go over some tips on how to check if your resume is ATS-friendly and how to make the necessary adjustments.

To determine if your resume is ATS (Applicant Tracking System) friendly, compare it to an ATS-optimized example. Pay attention to the following aspects:

  1. Chronological format
  2. Relevant keywords
  3. Clear headings
  4. Degrees and abbreviations
  5. Career target

What is Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and how does it work?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software tool many companies and recruitment agencies use to manage their recruitment process. ATS helps employers streamline and automate hiring by screening and sorting job applications based on specific criteria. This saves hiring managers significant time and effort, especially when they receive many applications.

ATS scans resumes and job applications for keywords and phrases related to the job description and required qualifications. It then ranks and filters the applications based on the relevance of the keywords and phrases found in each resume. If your resume has the necessary keywords, it may pass the ATS screening process and never be seen by the hiring manager. Contact us to know more information regarding this topic and view our services.

So, why does ATS matter for job seekers?

With an estimated 75% of resumes being rejected by ATS before they even reach a human recruiter, ensuring that your resume is ATS-friendly is essential. To do this, job seekers must understand how ATS works and optimize their resumes using relevant keywords and a simple, straightforward format with easy-to-read headings. By doing so, job seekers can increase their chances of passing the ATS screening and getting their resumes seen by hiring managers.

How to Make an ATS-Compliant Resume?

ATS-Compatible Resume Formatting

It's crucial to use a standard, easy-to-read format for your resume to ensure it's ATS-friendly. Avoid using images, charts, tables, and other visual elements that may confuse an ATS. Stick to a traditional, reverse-chronological format with straightforward headings. Hiring managers prefer this format, and it's easy for ATS to process. On our website, you can find resume templates designed for ATS compatibility and tips on popular resume formats which also showcase about writing proper resume headlines and so on.

Keyword Optimization

Keyword Optimization for ATS One of the most critical aspects of an ATS-friendly resume is optimizing it with relevant keywords. Keywords refer to words that an ATS may search for in a job application that match the job description or industry. Your resume should already contain core industry keywords, but reviewing the job description for additional keywords to include is essential. A skills section with relevant keywords can help you quickly swap them in and out when applying for different positions.

Send Your Resume as a Word Document

Sending your resume as a Word document, specifically a .doc or .docx file, ensures that it can be quickly processed by all ATS systems and is preferred by most hiring managers. Although some ATS systems now process PDFs, some may still need help. It's not worth the risk of losing formatting, so sending your resume as a Word .doc is best to guarantee that it's ATS-friendly.

Spell Out Abbreviations

An ATS may not understand all abbreviations, so it's essential to spell them out at least once. Additionally, spelling out abbreviations helps recruiters and hiring managers who may need to become more familiar with industry-specific jargon. This ensures that everyone reviewing your resume can easily understand what you do. For example, spell "Certified Public Accountant" instead of "CPA."

Include Relevant Information

The ATS scans your resume to determine if it contains relevant information and experience for a particular job. Tailoring your resume to the specific job and industry you're applying for is crucial which can be the first step for the preparation of your job application process . Include only relevant experience and education, highlighting transferable skills if you have yet to gain direct experience. Only submit a resume that contains relevant information that may be clear to the ATS.

ATS resume format example

ATS resume format example

How to Test Your Resume for ATS-Compatibility?

Several online tools are available to test your resume's ATS compatibility. They are:


To use Jobscan, copy and paste your resume and the job description into the respective fields on the website. Jobscan will then analyze your resume and provide a score out of 100, along with feedback on how to improve your resume's ATS compatibility.


Another tool to consider is RezRunner, which uses artificial intelligence to scan your resume for keywords, formatting, and other factors that affect ATS compatibility. Once the scan is complete, you will receive a report with detailed feedback and suggestions on optimizing your resume for ATS.

When interpreting the results of an ATS test, pay attention to the feedback and suggestions provided. Look for areas where your resume could be improved, such as using more relevant keywords or adjusting formatting. Remember that optimizing your resume for ATS compatibility is just one aspect of a successful job search, and it's essential to tailor your resume and cover letter to each job you apply for.

ATS-friendly resume test 1: Save your resume in plain text

Saving a copy of your resume as plain text is a quick and easy way to check if your resume is ATS-friendly. Applicant tracking systems often need help to read embedded tables, symbols, charts, images, and other design elements. If the ATS software does not recognize these design elements correctly, it may skip over important information in those graphics or return them as gibberish.

When saving your resume as plain text, check for missing details, incorrect characters, and disorganized formatting. Correct any issues before submitting your resume to ensure the ATS software can adequately read and interpret it.

ATS-friendly resume test 2: Request a free ATS scan

As a professional resume writing service, we offer a free resume review with an ATS resume scan. The review is divided into two parts. In the first half, we objectively evaluate your resume's content and design. In the second half, our team analyzes what information an ATS will extract from your resume, what it cannot identify and retrieve, and the top skills and keywords your resume ranks for. If your resume fails the ATS readability test, it may not reach hiring managers or recruiters.

Why Do You Need an ATS-Friendly Resume?

  1. Many companies use ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to screen resumes and identify candidates who match the job well.
  2. ATS scan resumes for keywords, skills, and other relevant information to identify qualified candidates.
  3. If your resume is not ATS-friendly, it may not be parsed correctly by the system, leading to it being discarded or overlooked.
  4. An ATS-friendly resume increases your chances of being selected for an interview as it can pass through the system's initial screening process.
  5. It helps you stand out from other applicants and makes it easier for hiring managers to see why you are a good fit for the job.
  6. An ATS-friendly resume is easy to read, well-organized, and tailored to the specific job you are applying for.
  7. It saves recruiters and hiring managers time and effort by highlighting your qualifications and experience clearly and concisely.


In conclusion, having an ATS-friendly resume is crucial in today's competitive job market. An ATS-friendly resume will help you pass the initial screening process and increase your chances of getting an interview. By following the guidelines on how to check if your resume is ATS-friendly, you can ensure that your resume is optimized for the software used by employers. These guidelines include using the right keywords, formatting your resume correctly, and tailoring your resume to the specific job you're applying for. Taking the time to make sure your resume is ATS-friendly will pay off in the long run and help you stand out in a sea of job applicants. We at resume making services help and assist you in providing well formatted and ATS-friendly resumes that stand out above all. Remember that an ATS-friendly resume is just one part of your job search strategy, but it is an important one that can give you an advantage in the hiring process.