It's important to help your candidates create an ATS friendly CV. This will help them stand the best chance of getting hired.

In this blog, we highlight effective strategies you can use to help your candidate create an ATS friendly CV, enabling you to stand out as a supportive and efficient freelance recruiter.

It’s important to help your candidates create an ATS friendly CV. This will help them stand the best chance of getting hired.

In the world of recruitment, the applicant tracking system (ATS) has become indispensable in the hiring process. As a freelance recruiter, it is crucial to understand the importance of an ATS friendly CV to support your candidates. By optimising CVs/resumes for your systems, you will add value to the candidates you are representing, plus it will streamline the process when using your own applicant tracking system.

Before diving into the details, if you want to know more about applicant tracking systems (ATS) and the best free applicant tracking systems out there then do consider our recent blog on ‘The 7 Best FREE Applicant Trcking Systems (ATS) of 2024’.

Strategies to ensure that CVs are ATS friendly:

Familiarise Yourself with ATS:

To ensure an ATS friendly CV, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of how these systems work as a freelance recruiter. Spend time getting acquainted with your ATS, its functionalities, and the specific criteria they use to evaluate resumes. Familiarise yourself with formatting requirements to better optimise CVs for success. Most ATS platforms will require formats such as PDF or Word (.docx).

Optimise CV Formatting:

ATS software relies on consistent formatting to interpret and parse the content of a CV. To improve the standard of parsing and increase the chances of your candidates’ CVs parsing through ATS successfully, you can encourage and pass on these formatting guidelines to your candidates:

  1. Use standard fonts (e.g., Arial, Calibri) and avoid decorative or unusual fonts.
  2. Stick to a clear and readable font size, typically between 10 and 12 points.
  3. Use standard section headers (e.g., “Profile”, “Work Experience,” “Education”, “skills”) to organise the content.
  4. Avoid using images, tables, or charts that may confuse or disrupt the parsing process.
  5. Save CVs in a compatible file format, such as PDF or Word (.docx), to ensure compatibility with different ATS systems.

Incorporate Keywords/ Skills:

ATS platforms scan CVs picking out keywords and skills to match candidates with job openings. It is a good idea to encourage your candidates to optimise CVs by incorporating industry-specific skills, keywords and phrases naturally throughout the document and even include a skills section. Here are some points you can share with your candidates to ensure keyword optimisation:

  1. Analyse the job description thoroughly and identify key skills and qualifications that are required for the role.
  2. In relation to your experience, integrate these relevant skills into the CV, particularly in the skills, experience, and summary sections.
  3. However, avoid excessive keyword stuffing, as it may appear unnatural and could harm your chances during the manual review.

Streamline CV Structure:

An organised and consistent CV structure enhances readability for you, potential employers and ATS systems. Consider passing on the following CV Structure tips to support your candidate’s application process.

  1. Summary: Start with a professional summary or objective statement that highlights key qualifications and achievements.
  2. Work History/Experience: List your previous positions highlighting your key responsibilities for each role and include the dates associated with each role.
  3. Education: Follow the summary with sections on education, work experience, skills, and additional relevant information.
  4. Skills: Use standard job titles and industry-specific terminology.
  5. Bullet points: Utilise bullet points to present information clearly and concisely.
  6. Consistency: Avoid excessive formatting variations, such as inconsistent spacing or bullet styles.

As a freelance recruiter, ensuring an ATS friendly CV will maximise the chances of your candidates’ success in landing interviews and job offers. By familiarizing yourself with ATS functionality, optimising formatting, incorporating relevant keywords, and streamlining CV structure, you can significantly improve the chances of CVs passing through ATS systems successfully. In addition, an ATS friendly CV will ensure all of your candidates have a presentable CV that your clients will find easy to review. Embracing these strategies will not only enhance your reputation as a competent recruiter but will also increase your client’s satisfaction, leading to more successful placements in the ever-competitive job market.

If you are a freelance recruiter or small recruitment business looking for a free ATS, take a look at Giig Hire’s Free Applicant Tracking System.