ATS Resume Guide: The Complete Guide to Applicant Tracking Systems

Updated: Oct 23

If you've been actively looking for a job, you've probably stumbled upon the term 'ATS' or Applicant Tracking System - software used by employers to receive, organize and sort job applications.

But with all the conflicting information out there, you still may wonder how an applicant tracking system works and how to actually write an ATS-optimized resume.

With the help of this complete guide on applicant tracking systems, you will be able to create a perfect ATS resume and start landing interviews faster than ever before by ensuring your resume gets past the first filter.

In the next 10 minutes, you will learn:

Read on to learn everything you need to know about applicant tracking systems and ATS-optimized resumes to get ahead in your job search and be successful in today's job market.

Let's start with basics.

What are applicant tracking systems?

Applicant tracking systems are frequently presented as AI gatekeepers that check, review and stop resumes at the virtual entrance to the company.

There are many myths around how applicant tracking systems work.

Based on the online information, many job seekers think that:

  • ATS rejects their job applications without allowing recruiters or hiring managers to see them

  • ATS independently makes the decision who will pass to interview stage and who won't

  • ATS auto-rejects all resumes that aren't designed in a certain way

However, ATS is much more well-intended business software used for organization of the recruitment process.

ATS is business software used for organization of the hiring process.

ATS works on a pretty simple principle. It collects, organizes, and stores job applications, helping recruiters manage the recruitment process more efficiently. While doing so, it also allows them to communicate with job seekers, share their applications with hiring managers, send bulk messages, invite them to interviews through the system, and so much more.

Why do companies use ATS?

A few decades ago, people landed jobs differently.

Many got jobs based on referrals and recommendations. Some submitted job applications in person, handing their resumes on a piece of paper. Considering that, companies were receiving a manageable number of applications.

Nowadays, everything is digital.

Resumes are rarely printed, job applications are submitted online, and almost the entire hiring process is virtual.

Since job seekers can now submit their applications to any company with just a few clicks, companies started receiving dozens or hu