Resume Tip Tuesday: Beat the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Posted April 08, 2014

Welcome to Resume Tip Tuesday! Come to CareerBliss every Tuesday for a brand new resume tip to help you in your job search! Check out the archive for resume tips galore! 


In a previous edition of Resume Tip Tuesday, we explained how to make sure your resume doesn’t get stuck in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

The wrong format could make your resume void! And with nearly 100 percent of large companies using an ATS system, it’s critical to make sure your resume gets through the ATS and into the hands of a real person.

Today, we talked to Brooke Dixon, co-founder and CEO of, about another more in-depth way to ensure you beat any ATS.

“Remember, the ATS is designed to weed out applicants,” Dixon says.

So, in order to make sure your resume is found when a hiring manager is searching through their ATS for resumes, all you have to do is make sure that you sprinkle relevant keywords, right?

Wrong! Too many terms are alike…which can confuse the ATS.

“For instance, let’s say you’re looking for a freelancing job in sales,” Dixon says. “From the job description, you input words in your resume or online job profile such as “market trends” or “partner relationships” believing that these words would sync with an ATS.”But context is key.“Without the correct context, an ATS may “read” your work experience as someone who has a background in marketing. Since there are a lot of crossover in these fields, keywords aren’t as black and white as you may believe,” Dixon says.

Make Sure You Put Context Around Your Keywords 

Add context. Translate why your background fits the job. Include achievements that make you stand out.

“For instance, instead of saying that you have experience in “sales.” note the type of sales experience, regions you’ve worked in, or products you’ve sold,” Dixon says. “This will link more clearly not just with a parser, but in the search and score portion of the hiring process.”

Thanks for reading Resume Tip Tuesday! Come back next week—same time, same place.
photo of The CareerBliss Team

The CareerBliss Team

CareerBliss cares about your career happiness. That's why we offer a variety of great tools and resources to help you make better-informed career decisions. We believe that if you're happier at work, you'll be happier in life! Check out company reviews, salary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

Other Articles Written by The CareerBliss Team

Sign up for Job Alerts!
Show me more jobs

Resume Writing Services

Free resume evaluation from career experts
  • Guaranteed interviews in 30 business days or get a free rewrite
  • All staff writers are Certified Professional Resume Writers (CPRWs)
Learn more
We noticed that your web browser is outdated!

Update your browser to have a more positive job search experience.

Upgrade My Browser