My account
  • Home
  • Resume
  • How to Make an ATS Resume (Template, Examples & Guide)

How to Make an ATS Resume (Template, Examples & Guide)

See what an ATS resume is and read our in-depth guide on how to write one. Use our ATS resume templates that will help you get past the scanning bots and land you a dream job.

Mariusz Wawrzyniak
Mariusz Wawrzyniak
Career Expert
How to Make an ATS Resume (Template, Examples & Guide)

Do you know what resumes and robots have in common? They’re likely to meet during recruitment. No, I’m not talking about a stray Roomba running over your discarded job application. I mean ATS scanners—the screening software that pre-selects job candidates.

If you want your application to end up in front of the recruiter’s eyes, you must know how to outsmart the robots. So, learn how to write an ATS resume and beat the system!

In this article, you’ll see:

  • What an Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) is.
  • A full guide on how to make an ATS-friendly resume.
  • A short list of the best ATS resume templates.

Save hours of work and get a job-winning resume like this. Try our resume builder with 20+ resume templates and create your resume now.

Create your resume now

CREATE YOUR RESUME NOWATS-friendly resume template

What users say about ResumeLab:

I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your resume.”

I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work!

My previous resume was really weak and I used to spend hours adjusting it in Word. Now, I can introduce any changes within minutes. Absolutely wonderful!

Create your resume now

Want to check resume templates for various applications? Check the guides below:

What Is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is software used by employers to manage the recruitment process. It automates the collection, sorting, and filtering of job applications. An ATS allows recruiters to screen and manage a large number of resumes efficiently.

How Does an ATS Work?

The applicant tracking system scans your resume for job-related keywords and determines if you are a good match for the position. ATS reads your resume from left to right and top to bottom, so it prefers resumes with a well-organized structure and an easy-to-read text layer.

example of how applicant tracking software sees a resume and tracks keywords

What Is an ATS-Friendly Resume?

An ATS-friendly resume is designed to pass the applicant tracking systems. You can ensure your resume is ATS-compliant by using standard sections, industry keywords, and simple formatting.

Having an ATS-friendly resume is important. If your resume doesn't pass the ATS test, it'll never reach a human recruiter. And that means you’ll be waiting for a job interview invite forever.

How Can You Increase Your ATS Match Rate?

The match rate is a score many ATS give your resume, which shows how good of a "match" you are for the position. The higher your match, the faster a human recruiter will look at your application. If your ATS resume match score is too low, you might never even hear from them.

So, how should you optimize your ATS resume to raise the match score? Tailor your resume for each job application. Review the job description and identify essential keywords. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your resume, especially in the skills and experience sections.

When listing your work history, provide the job title, company, location, dates of employment, and a detailed description of your professional achievements for each entry. Use bullet points for clarity. Begin each resume bullet point with a strong action verb.

Sounds tough? We've got you covered. Below, you'll find ATS-optimized and ATS-friendly resume templates to help you pass the test.

Expert Hint: 90% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS software. This is representative of a more general trend among more and more companies automating and streamlining their recruitment processes.

How to Create an ATS-Friendly Resume

Now that you know how ATSs work and what ATS-friendly resumes are, let’s take a look at how you can write a job-winning ATS resume.

1. Use an ATS Resume Template

You should keep several things in mind when choosing an ATS-friendly resume template.

First, see if it’s readable to a machine. Copy and paste the content of the resume into a simple text file in Notepad. If the text is readable and more or less follows its original structure, the template should be ATS-friendly. If you can’t select or copy the text at all, no ATS will be able to parse it either—that’s why your safest bet is to send your resume as a Word or PDF file.

To make your resume more ATS-compliant, remove any images and tables. They might confuse the applicant tracking system that your desired workplace uses.

Expert Hint: The so-called infographic resumes are certainly good-looking. Unfortunately, most of them will fail any ATS check because they are often sent as image files.

2. Make Your ATS Resume Tailored to the Job Offer

Remember that ATSs will be comparing the content of your resume to the original job posting. To qualify as a match, an ATS-compliant resume must contain the right number of words and phrases from the offer. That’s why you must make a targeted resume. Use relevant resume keywords that closely match the requirements of the job application.

3. Follow an ATS-Friendly Resume Format

The chronological resume format has the most ATS-friendly structure. It’s clearly divided into resume sections and presents the candidate’s career achievements starting with the most recent ones. Other resume formats, such as functional resume or combination resume, might get rejected by ATS scans.

ATS scans can’t read fancy documents with creative fonts. To make sure your resume is ATS-friendly, go with classic resume fonts, and aim for a simple resume layout. Don't forget to leave ample white space by setting your resume margins to 1 inch on all sides.

4. Put Your Name and Contact Info at the Top

Your resume header is the one and only place where your name and contact information belong. Don’t put any unnecessary information there. Since ATS scans read from top to bottom and left to right, you want them to notice your name and contact details straight away.

If the job ad says you should add your home address, do it to stay safe—the ATS may require such info. If you’re unsure how detailed your address has to be, look at our dedicated guide on how to put your address on a resume.

5. Include Relevant Information

When drafting your resume job descriptions, see that your most recent job comes up top and is followed by the ones you previously held. Remember to include your job titles, as they’re one type of information ATS bots seek. Carefully read the job advertisement to ensure your resume sections include all the relevant information a hiring manager may expect.

6. Highlight the Skills That Match the Job Ad

Make sure the skills you put on a resume align with what’s outlined in the job offer. Sprinkle them throughout the entire document rather than just put them on a list. During the ATS resume scanning, the system will extract the skills from your resume to see how much they fit the job description.

Hard skills usually take priority over soft skills, so make your resume more ATS-friendly by including more of the former.

7. Run a Free ATS Resume Scan

The Internet is full of free goodies. And if you’re determined enough, you can find almost anything. To ensure your resume is 100% ATS compliant, you can use an online ATS resume checker for free.


Expert Hint: In many cases, you’re going to be sending your resume via email. But, what should you write in it? A “hello, here’s my resume” is not a good idea. See what to write in an email when sending a resume.

The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your resume in our resume builder now.


CREATE YOUR RESUME NOWcreate your resume now

Nail it all with a splash of color, choose a clean font, and highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You're the perfect candidate, and we'll prove it. Use our resume builder now.

5 ATS Resume Templates

Take a look at a selection of our ATS resume templates. Each of them has been designed by a team of professional resume writers, HR experts, and graphic designers. They’ve been specifically created to be both ATS-compliant and recruiter-friendly.



This ATS-friendly resume template has a two-column layout that allows you to fit a lot of information on a single page. The sidebar is perfect for holding additional information such as known languages, or certifications for your resume. Cascade is one of our most popular designs ever.



The name says it all: this classic template features a one-column layout and no frills. The subtle use of color helps to separate and highlight each resume section. It’s a great choice if you’re aiming for a two-page resume, and it’s also a popular ATS template for academic CVs.



Diamond is an ATS-friendly resume that has an infographic-like timeline, which gives the document a nice flow and directs the reader’s eye from top to bottom. It also features a large bar on top that makes your contact information unmissable.



Professional doesn’t mean boring, and this ATS-friendly resume template proves it. The subtle addition of resume icons helps navigate the document with ease.


USE THIS RESUME TEMPLATEATS Resume Template - Initials

Initials is an ATS-friendly resume template that gives you a lot of room for your professional accomplishments. And once it gets through the screening, it’s certain to catch the recruiter’s eye with the professional-looking auto-generated logo.

Expert Hint: Not all online resume builders are ATS friendly. Some free resume templates may include visual elements that can’t be read by ATS scans. This means that they will be rejected. Go for templates that don’t feature excessive imagery.

Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter generator and make your application documents pop out.


CREATE YOUR COVER LETTER NOWcreate your cover letter now

Want to try a different look? There's 21 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

Key Points

Here’s the summary of how to write an ATS resume:

  1. Use an ATS-friendly resume template.
  2. Tailor your resume to the job offer.
  3. Follow an ATS-compatible resume format.
  4. Write your name and contact information at the top.
  5. Include relevant information in resume descriptions.
  6. Pick the skills that match the job requirements.
  7. Try a free ATS resume scan.

How did you like our article on the ATS resume? Do you have any helpful tips you’d like to share? Let’s talk about it in the comments below, and, as always, thanks for reading!

About ResumeLab’s Editorial Process

At ResumeLab, quality is at the crux of our values, supporting our commitment to delivering top-notch career resources. The editorial team of career experts carefully reviews every article in accordance with editorial guidelines, ensuring the high quality and reliability of our content. We actively conduct original research, shedding light on the job market's intricacies and earning recognition from numerous influential news outlets. Our dedication to delivering expert career advice attracts millions of readers to our blog each year.

Frequently Asked Questions About ATS Resumes

What is an ATS-friendly resume?

An ATS-friendly resume's goal is to pass through applicant tracking systems. To make your resume ATS-friendly, you should use easy-to-scan resume formatting and include resume keywords from the job ad. You should also remove any images and tables, as they might confuse the applicant tracking system.

How to write an ATS-friendly resume?

To create an ATS-friendly resume, use a clean resume layout, include relevant keywords from the job ad. Stick to standard section headings like "Work Experience" and "Skills." Submit it in DOC, or PDF formats. Proofread thoroughly to avoid errors that can confuse the ATS and harm your chances.

How does the ATS work?

The applicant tracking system scans your resume for job-related keywords and determines if you are a good match for the position. That means you're doomed to fail if you're not using an optimized ATS resume template.

How Can You Increase Your ATS Match Rate?

Create a targeted resume. Review the job description and identify essential keywords. In your work history section, provide the job title, company, location, dates of employment, and professional achievements. Use bullet points for clarity. Begin each resume bullet point with a strong action verb.

Are Word and Google Docs resume templates ATS-friendly?

You should always verify whether your Google Docs resume, or Word resume template, is parsable by the ATS. Some are scannable, but others look like a scrambled mess when read by an algorithm. Ensure your template is fine by pasting its contents into Notepad and seeing if it's readable.

Mariusz Wawrzyniak

Mariusz is a career expert with a background in quality control & economics. With work experience in FinTech and a passion for self-development, Mariusz brings a unique perspective to his role. He’s dedicated to providing the most effective advice on resume and cover letter writing techniques to help his readers secure the jobs of their dreams.

Was it interesting?Here are similar articles