How to Create an ATS-Friendly CV in 2023: Step By Step

When it comes to securing your dream job, the first step is often submitting your CV or resume. However, in today’s digital age, many companies utilize an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to streamline their hiring process.

An ATS scans and filters through numerous resumes, making it crucial to create an ATS-friendly CV that stands out from the crowd. In this article, we will guide you through the process of crafting an ATS-friendly CV that increases your chances of landing an interview.


Understanding ATS

Before we delve into the specifics of creating an ATS-friendly CV, it’s important to understand how an ATS works. An ATS is a software application that helps employers manage and automate their recruitment processes. It scans CVs and resumes, searching for keywords, phrases, and relevant information that match the specific job requirements. By understanding how an ATS functions, you can tailor your CV accordingly to enhance its visibility and increase your chances of getting noticed.

Importance of an ATS-Friendly CV

An ATS-friendly CV is essential in today’s competitive job market. With many companies receiving an overwhelming number of applications for each position, an ATS helps them filter out unqualified candidates and identify the most suitable ones. By optimizing your CV for ATS compatibility, you can ensure that your qualifications and experiences are effectively communicated and increase the likelihood of passing the initial screening process.

Formatting Your CV for ATS Compatibility

When formatting your CV for ATS compatibility, it’s crucial to keep it simple and clean. Avoid using fancy fonts, excessive formatting, and intricate layouts. Stick to a standard font like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman, and use a font size between 10 and 12 points to ensure readability. Additionally, save your CV in a compatible format, such as Microsoft Word or PDF, to prevent any formatting errors when the ATS scans your document.

Choosing the Right Keywords

Keywords play a vital role in optimizing your CV for ATS scanning. Research and identify relevant keywords and phrases that are commonly used in your target industry or job role. These keywords can include specific skills, qualifications, job titles, and industry-related terminology. Incorporate these keywords naturally throughout your CV, especially in the professional summary, skills section, and job descriptions, to increase the chances of matching the ATS’s criteria.

Structuring Your CV for Maximum Readability

To ensure maximum readability, structure your CV using appropriate headings and subheadings. Start with a clear and concise professional summary that highlights your key qualifications and experiences. Follow it with sections dedicated to your skills, work experience, education, and any additional relevant information. Use bullet points and short paragraphs to break up the text and make it easier for both the ATS and the human reader to scan your CV quickly.


Adjust Your CV for Specific Job Applications

Every job application is unique, and adjusting your CV to match the specific job requirements can significantly improve your chances of success. Carefully review the job description and identify the key skills and experiences sought by the employer. Adjust your CV accordingly, placing emphasis on these specific qualifications and aligning your achievements with the job requirements. By adjusting your CV, you demonstrate a genuine interest in the position and increase your chances of getting noticed by both the ATS and the hiring manager.

Highlighting Relevant Skills and Experience

When creating an ATS-friendly CV, it’s crucial to highlight your most relevant skills and experiences. Include a dedicated skills section where you list your key skills, ensuring they align with the job requirements. In your work experience section, focus on quantifiable achievements and results that showcase your abilities and accomplishments. Use action verbs and be specific when describing your responsibilities and accomplishments to grab the attention of both the ATS and the hiring manager.

Showcasing Achievements and Results

Employers are not only interested in your responsibilities but also in the results you have achieved in previous roles. Quantify your achievements whenever possible by including specific metrics, percentages, or numbers. For example, instead of stating “Improved sales,” you can say “Increased sales by 20% within six months.” Such specific accomplishments demonstrate your capabilities and make your CV stand out in the eyes of both the ATS and the employer.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

When crafting an ATS-friendly CV, it’s essential to avoid common mistakes that can hinder your chances of success. Ensure your CV is free of spelling and grammatical errors by proofreading it thoroughly. Avoid using images, graphics, or fancy designs, as they may not be compatible with the ATS and can result in formatting issues. Finally, refrain from using unconventional section titles or creative job titles, as an ATS may not recognize them, potentially leading to your CV being overlooked.


Optimizing Your CV for Online Applications

In today’s digital world, many job applications are submitted online. When applying through an online platform or email, ensure that your CV is easily accessible and compatible with different devices and software. Use a standard file format, such as PDF or Microsoft Word, and avoid using unusual fonts or formatting. Additionally, include your contact information, such as your phone number and email address, prominently at the top of your CV to make it easy for employers to reach out to you.

Adding a Professional Summary

A well-crafted professional summary at the beginning of your CV can captivate the reader’s attention and provide a snapshot of your qualifications. Write a concise paragraph highlighting your key skills, experiences, and achievements. Tailor the professional summary to match the specific job you’re applying for, focusing on the most relevant aspects of your background. A compelling professional summary sets a positive tone for your CV and encourages the reader to explore your qualifications further.

Including Contact Information

Make sure to include your contact information in your CV to ensure employers can reach out to you for potential opportunities. Provide your full name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile (if applicable). Double-check the accuracy of your contact details to avoid any missed communication. By including your contact information, you make it easy for employers to connect with you and move forward in the hiring process.

Proofreading and Editing

Once you have completed your ATS-friendly CV, take the time to proofread and edit it meticulously. Check for any spelling or grammatical errors, and ensure the formatting remains consistent and professional throughout the document. Read each section carefully to ensure it conveys the information accurately and concisely. Consider asking a trusted friend or family member to review your CV as well, as fresh eyes may catch any mistakes or areas for improvement that you may have overlooked.


Crafting an ATS-friendly CV is crucial in today’s highly competitive job market. By understanding how an ATS works, formatting your CV appropriately, incorporating relevant keywords, and tailoring your qualifications to specific job applications, you can greatly increase your chances of securing an interview. Remember to highlight your relevant skills and experiences, showcase your achievements, and avoid common mistakes. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to creating an ATS-friendly CV that grabs the attention of both the ATS and the hiring managers.


  1. Why is an ATS-friendly CV important? An ATS-friendly CV increases your chances of passing the initial screening process and getting noticed by employers, enhancing your chances of securing an interview.
  2. How can I format my CV for ATS compatibility? Use a simple and clean format, stick to standard fonts, and save your CV in a compatible format such as Microsoft Word or PDF.
  3. Should I tailor my CV for each job application? Yes, tailoring your CV to match the specific job requirements increases your chances of success and shows your genuine interest in the position.
  4. What are some common mistakes to avoid in an ATS-friendly CV? Avoid spelling and grammatical errors, refrain from using images or graphics, and stick to standard section titles and job titles.
  5. How can I optimize my CV for online applications? Use a standard file format, include your contact information prominently, and ensure compatibility across different devices and software platforms.

Was this Article Helpful? Please Rate us 


Leave a Comment