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3 Ways to Help Your CV Beat the Bots

Matt Glodz
3 Ways to Help Your CV Beat the Bots

How to Optimise Your CV for Applicant Tracking Systems

A Jobscan research study revealed that 98.8% of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems to collect, sort through and manage the hundreds of applications they receive.

When competing against a high volume of applicants, optimising your CV can help ensure it actually makes it past the ATS and into the hands of a human!

By using the following three strategies, you'll be on your way to beating the ATS bots:

  1. Stick to a simple CV format
  2. Incorporate relevant keywords
  3. Use a conventional section titles

1) Stick to a simple CV format

Applicant tracking systems are often unable to correctly parse information from CVs with multiple columns, tables, charts or graphics.

As a result, we always recommend using a traditional CV format.

Online CV builders that promise to deliver “modern” documents that help you stand out with colors and symbols used to rank your skills on a five-point scale, for instance, may actually work against you.

Keep your formatting conservative and let your work experience speak for itself.

You'll be taken more seriously and convey a strong sense of professionalism.

2) Incorporate relevant keywords

When recruiters receive a high volume of applications for a position, they often use an ATS to narrow down the applicant pool, filtering CVs using keywords.

To help your CV make the initial cut, tailor your content accordingly by reading through the job description and naturally incorporating relevant keywords into your bullet points.

3) Use conventional section titles

When it comes to section headings, keep it simple.

To ensure that the ATS correctly pulls information from your document, you should use standard headings such as the following:

  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Qualifications
  • Publications
  • Skills

In Summary

In a competitive job market, recruiters have more than enough applicants to choose from.

Based on our conversations with recruiters, CV features such as graphics, colors, photos and fancy designs aren't taken very seriously. In fact, they’re often the reason a CV gets rejected during the initial screening process.

Remember that you only have a few seconds to make a strong first impression!

By keeping it classy and playing it safe when it comes to formatting, you'll increase your chances of landing interviews - both by beating the bots and impressing recruiters.


About the AuthorMatt Glodz


Matt Glodz is the Founder and Managing Partner of CV Pilots and a Certified Professional Resume Writer.

Based in London, he currently works with applicants ranging from CEOs to recent graduates and has been writing CVs for over eight years.

At CV Pilots, Matt combines his solid business and writing background to craft CVs that give his clients the best chance of landing interviews. He has lived in the UK, US and Italy.

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