Heath Alva
Posted June 16, 2021

3 free and effective ATS resume templates

Learn how to create an effective ATS resume, and get started straight away with 3 resume templates
Heath Alva
Follow
8
Comment
Share
3 free and effective ATS resume templates
Jump to section

You’ve spent hours crafting an awesome resume, sent out a ton of applications with well-written cover letters, and...

Crickets

Why is nobody getting back to you? Is it something you said?

Well, as it turns out, it could be something you didn’t say.

The majority of companies run applicant resumes through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which filters out resumes that don’t fit certain criteria — meaning hiring managers might not even be seeing your resume.

Yikes!

In this article, we’re going to explain exactly how to crack the code and get past your potential employer’s system by creating an ATS-friendly resume. We’ll even provide three templates to get you up and running quickly.

What is an ATS format resume?

The first thing that job seekers such as yourself need to know is that recruiters receive hundreds of resumes every day.

The average job receives 250 applications, and when you multiply that by tens or even hundreds of specific job ads, this can quickly become too much for a single recruiter to handle.

That’s why it’s common for hiring managers to use ATS systems as part of their hiring process.

ATS software (short for applicant tracking system) automatically reviews your resume and seeks to match it against specific criteria listed in the job description.

These criteria can include your previous job titles and work experience and the soft skills and technical skills listed in your skills section.

An ATS format resume is one that is optimized for analysis by these machines, with carefully thought out headers, bullet points, and resume formatting. Formatting like this gives your resume the best shot at making it through to your recruiter’s desk.

How do you write an ATS-friendly resume?

Writing an ATS-compliant resume means you need to customize each resume you send based on how you expect your potential manager’s system to be set up. Remember, every ATS is looking for different keywords based on how the manager or recruiter has set it up.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind that work across the board.

1. Don’t use too many graphics or images

Most ATS systems can’t read images, only text. The best resume for ATS systems, then, will have one image at most: your photo.

Other than that, try to stick to a text-based resume format.

(Image Source)

2. List experience in chronological order

A chronological resume format is best for ATS systems. It lists your work history in each role in chronological order.

Think of it like this:

The system may be filtering for applicants’ years of experience in a given role and how recent this experience is.

So, keep your work experience section chronological.

(Image Source)

3. Choose simple fonts

ATS systems might struggle with fancy fonts. Stick to a simple font style like Arial or Calibri. This will help ensure the system doesn’t miss keywords simply because your font style was too hard for it to read.

4. Label your headings in an ATS-friendly way

ATS software scans your entire document and understands your resume layout based on the headers you’ve included.

So, it’s best to stick to the most commonly used section headers:

  • Summary
  • Work experience
  • Education section
  • Skills
  • Contact details

5. Save your resume as a PDF or docx

The file format you use for your job application is crucial, as some ATS systems won’t be able to open strange file types and will instantly disqualify any job application that it can’t scan.

If you’re using Microsoft Word or Google Docs (or anything else for that matter), save your resume as a PDF file or MS Word (.docx) file.

6. Tailor your resume directly to the job ad

This final tip is the most important of all: tailor your resume directly to the job ad. 54% of resumes are rejected as they aren’t customized to the job description, so it’s worth putting the time in.

Start by identifying the key skills and attributes the employer is looking for.

For example, if they’ve listed ‘Customer Service’ as one of the skills that the job will require, make sure you add that to your skills section (if you have the relevant experience, of course).

Customize your resume by making sure it matches the job requirements word for word. This will give you the best shot at getting the green light from an ATS system.

3 free & effective ATS resume templates

Let’s now take a look at three effective resume examples that will help you beat those ATS systems.

ATS resume template for entry-level jobs

If you’re applying for an entry-level job, then your formatting can be pretty straightforward. You can list your previous experience first, followed by your education and skills.

Here’s an example:

JOHN EXAMPLE

LA, California | P: +1 123456789 | [email protected] | linkedin.com/in/url

SUMMARY

Use this section to summarize your resume. Make sure to include keywords from the job description or advertisement.

EXPERIENCE

Company 1. – Location 1 Your Role 1 Dates

  • Achievement 1
  • Achievement 2
  • Achievement 3
  • Responsibility 1
  • Responsibility 2
  • Responsibility 3

Company 2. – Location 2 Your Role 2 Dates

  • Achievement 1
  • Achievement 2
  • Achievement 3
  • Responsibility 1
  • Responsibility 2
  • Responsibility 3

EDUCATION Your school/college/university – Location Dates

Qualification 1

Qualification 2

Qualification 3

ADDITIONAL SKILLS

Technical: Add keywords from job description

Soft skills: Add keywords from job description

Other: Add keywords from job description

ATS resume template for career changers

If you’re changing careers, then you might find that your work experience is less relevant to the role you’re applying for than the skills you’ve developed over time.

So, you should look to bring your skills up to the top of your resume, like this:

JANE EXAMPLE

LA, California | P: +1 123456789 | [email protected] | linkedin.com/in/url

SUMMARY

Use this section to summarize your resume. Make sure to include keywords from the job description or advertisement.

SKILLS

Administrative skills: (or other relevant skill type)

  • Skill 1
  • Skill 2
  • Skill 3
  • Skill 4
  • Skill 5

(Add keywords from job description)

Communication skills: (or other relevant skill type)

  • Skill 1
  • Skill 2
  • Skill 3
  • Skill 4
  • Skill 5

(Add keywords from job description)

Customer service skills: (or other relevant skill type)

  • Skill 1
  • Skill 2
  • Skill 3
  • Skill 4
  • Skill 5

(Add keywords from job description)

EXPERIENCE

Company 1. – Location 1 Your Role 1 Dates

  • How your job experience is related to above skill 1
  • How your job experience is related to above skill 2
  • How your job experience is related to above skill 3
  • How your job experience is related to above skill 4

Company 2. – Location 2 Your Role 2 Dates

  • How your job experience is related to above skill 1
  • How your job experience is related to above skill 2
  • How your job experience is related to above skill 3
  • How your job experience is related to above skill 4

EDUCATION

Your school/college/university – Location Dates

Qualification 1

Qualification 2

Qualification 3

ATS resume template for management positions

If you’re applying for a management position, then your resume will need to highlight any relevant leadership experience and qualifications you might have.

For example:

JEFF EXAMPLE

LA, California | P: +1 123456789 | [email protected] | linkedin.com/in/url

SUMMARY

Use this section to summarize your resume. Make sure to include keywords from the job description or advertisement.

LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE

Company. – Location Your Leadership Role Dates

  • Relevant leadership quality/experience/achievement 1
  • Relevant leadership quality/experience/achievement 2
  • Relevant leadership quality/experience/achievement 3

Company You Founded. – Location (if relevant) Your Role Dates

  • Relevant leadership quality/experience/achievement 1
  • Relevant leadership quality/experience/achievement 2
  • Relevant leadership quality/experience/achievement 3

Leadership qualification – School/college/university

  • Relevant leadership quality/experience/achievement 1
  • Relevant leadership quality/experience/achievement 2
  • Relevant leadership quality/experience/achievement 3

WORK EXPERIENCE

Company 1. – Location 1 Your Role 1 Dates

  • Achievement 1
  • Achievement 2
  • Achievement 3
  • Responsibility 1
  • Responsibility 2
  • Responsibility 3

Company 2. – Location 2

Your Role 2 Dates

  • Achievement 1
  • Achievement 2
  • Achievement 3
  • Responsibility 1
  • Responsibility 2
  • Responsibility 3

EDUCATION

Your school/college/university – Location Dates

Qualification 1

Qualification 2

Qualification 3

ADDITIONAL SKILLS

Technical: Add keywords from job description

Soft skills: Add keywords from job description

Other: Add keywords from job description

Let’s apply for some jobs!

Now that you’ve got a handle on how to create an ATS-friendly resume and a few templates under your belt to help you get started, it’s time to start sending out those applications.

Remember to:

  • Not use too many graphics or images
  • Put your experience in chronological order
  • Use a simple, common font
  • Label your headings using common terms such as ‘Education’
  • Save your resume as a PDF or .docx file
  • Tailor each resume you send to the job ad you’re applying for

Ready to get job hunting? Check out the vacant positions on the Jobcase job board.

8
Comment
Share
Heath Alva
Follow

Comments

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment.
Post
Related Articles
Aug 13, 2021

How to write an effective job description for your resume

Ashley Wilson
Community Specialist
Follow
6
Comment
Share
Jul 10, 2020

5 Tips you can use to get past an ATS

Janice Reed
Community Specialist
Follow
42
22
Share
Apr 28, 2020

Resume keywords 101

Elyssa Duncan
Community Specialist
Follow
21
12
Share
Feb 25, 2021

What is a CV?

Kai Dickerson
Community Specialist
Follow
7
3
Share
Dec 3, 2020

Best way to list computer skills on your resume

Elyssa Duncan
Community Specialist
Follow
11
1
Share
Jul 21, 2020

3 tips to overcome rejection while job seeking

Janice Reed
Community Specialist
Follow
5
3
Share