Creating a search friendly resume – Here’s how to crack the ATS code

Creating a search friendly resume – Here’s how to crack the ATS code
  • Tailoring your resume to applicant tracking system (ATS) is important for wider reach
  • ATS-enabled resumes increase the likelihood of your application passing the initial screening stage.
  • You can create an ATS-friendly resume on your own, use the services of a specialist, or even use ChatGPT to write one.

If you have sent your resumes to several employers, and not heard back from them after the customary automated acknowledgement mail, then you are not alone. Certain jobs, especially for freshers, in sectors like IT, receive 100s of job applications and it is not possible for the hiring team to go through all the applications. So, they have a process in place to shortlist them - which is referred to as the applicant tracking system (ATS).

What is an ATS friendly resume?

In today's competitive job market, tailoring your resume to ATS is crucial for ensuring your application is seen by potential employers.

“ATS-enabled resumes are specifically designed to be scanned and interpreted by these automated systems, increasing the likelihood of your application passing the initial screening stage,” says Manu Saigal, Director, General Staffing, Adecco India, a staffing solutions firm.
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ATS are widely used by companies of all sizes to streamline the recruitment process, efficiently filtering through a high volume of resumes. They analyse resumes for relevant keywords and phrases, matching them to the specific requirements of the job opening. An ATS-friendly resume ensures your skills and experience are effectively conveyed to the ATS, making it more likely to land in the hands of a hiring manager.

ATS resumes have caught up because of the extensive use of AI in the hiring process.

“Now, recruiters can use AI-powered search to get results personalised to their organisations. This infusion of AI has elevated the quality of candidate recommendations enabling data-driven hiring decisions, marking a paradigm shift in recruitment methodologies,” says Sekhar Garisa, CEO, foundit, a talent platform.

Key features of ATS friendly resume

The key characteristics of an ATS-friendly resume:

Structured format: Uses a clear and consistent format with standard headings and sections.

Keyword optimisation: Incorporate relevant keywords and phrases from the job description throughout your resume.

Easy readability: Uses simple language, avoids jargon, and maintains clear font styles and sizes.

File format: Saves your resume in PDF or ATS-compatible formats to ensure proper rendering.

How to create an ATS resume

You can create an ATS-friendly resume on your own, use the services of a specialist, or even use ChatGPT to write one.


One can craft an ATS-friendly resume by utilising online resources and templates for ATS compatibility. Leverage free tools to spot keywords aligning with job descriptions, enhancing your resume's relevance. Tailor content meticulously to spotlight skills sought by employers, boosting chances with both ATS and hiring managers.

Also, seek feedback from mentors or peers to refine and amplify your qualifications' presentation. “After thorough research and learning the do’s and don’ts, one can create their own ATS-compliant resume,” says Sachin Alug, CEO, NLB Services, a talent solutions company.

Engage a resume specialist

There are many resume services which will create an ATS friendly resume for you. Consider enlisting a resume expert for personalised guidance and expertise in creating an impactful, ATS-compatible resume.

These seasoned specialists customise resumes for distinct industries and positions, setting them apart from competitors. Professional resume writers offer valuable insights into ATS optimization strategies, enhancing your resume's chances of success in applicant screening systems.

Use ChatGPT

You may utilise ChatGPT as a tool to enhance your resume's keyword optimisation and identify potential areas for improvement. Leverage ChatGPT's ability to generate different creative text formats of text content to explore alternative ways of presenting your skills and experience.

“Use ChatGPT's suggestions as a starting point and carefully review and refine the generated content to ensure it aligns with your overall resume narrative,” says Saigal.

Agrees Garisa, “While ChatGPT offers guidance and suggestions for an ATS-friendly resume, it is not a substitute for the expertise provided by a professional resume specialist.”

Searching for a job is often a long process and having an ATS-enabled resume could only give you an edge.