Make Your Resume More Data Extraction Friendly

Not many jobseekers know that 72% of resumes are never seen by human eyes. Well, a myriad of employers are now using the recent technology called ATS (applicant tracking system). In order to get your resume to the next round, you need to win over this system which has its own complex rules. ATS itself will assign the jobseeker a score based on how well he/she match the job that the employer is trying to fill. Then, the sophisticated machine will rank and sort all candidates. Only the potential employees with the highest scores are able to be reviewed by a human. This is why it’s more important to format resume to be more data extraction friendly than a fancy resume. The program can analyse a document, and extracts its elements of what the writer actually meant to say. In this case, a CV’s elements are usually the basic information, skills, work experiences and education. Unfortunately, the way jobseekers write their resume is infinitely varied. It will confuse the system to understand what you actually meant. ATS has to capture all these different ways of writing through complex rules and statistical algorithms. Do you want your ability to be recognised by the system? Here are several tricks on how to format resume data extraction friendly:

1. Get rid of images and graphics

As much as you want your resume to be of eye-candy quality, the ATS will not be able to read or understand an image. Thus, forget the images and graphics. Be wordy, instead.

2. Avoid unfamiliar fonts and special characters

Only use standard fonts, such as Arial, Tahoma and Trebuchet. Also, use standard characters like bullets. Other characters, such as arrows, can cause some problems for the ATS to understand your information. Also, avoid fancy borders and shading. Make sure your resume is easy to read.

3. Use the language from the job description

Read the job description carefully to determine the skills required by the employer. Then, put the buzzwords the employer is using into your resume. Spell out your skills and include industry-specific abbreviations or acronyms that the employer may also search for when finding candidates with the right experience. Of course, you can only put those keywords if you are literally capable. The ATS will be looking for these keywords. A resume that is filled with the keywords will obviously get a better score. If you have other skills or irrelevant information that aren’t required, consider to leave it out. Only mention the past positions and skills that are relevant, since the ATS will not assess it as valuable or not.

4. No typo

Any misspelled words will be ignored by the ATS. Even though, you might have the right skills to fill the position offered by the employer. It’s important to read your resume all over again and spell check. Ask some help from a friend to run through your resume might be even better.

5. Put the basic information at the top

Don’t forget to include your basic information at the top of your resume. The phone number and email address are significant for further communications. The ATS is even able to send you an email after you’ve applied to the position with additional instructions.

6. Tailor your resume

You will read different job descriptions from different companies. It means their ATS has different keywords and phrases too. Be thoughtful for each resume. You must tailor your skills and experience according to the employer’s requirements. Are you ready to beat the ATS? Go format your resume with the tricks above.


This article first appeared on TBC HR Consulting’s website at

If you think this is great, share this with your friends!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *