Let’s face it; finding your dream job isn’t easy. What you don’t realize is what might be standing in your way. What many individuals on the job hunt don’t realize, is that 75% of job applications are rejected before they even reach human hands. Recruiters often rely on the help of Application Tracking Systems (ATS) to help sort through the piles of resumes they receive from candidates. Companies can configure their ATS software depending on what they are looking for in an applicant and reject candidates that don’t meet the standards. Like any software, ATS systems aren’t perfect, and frequently reject qualified candidates for not complying with the system requirements. Applications like Recruitable aim combat this problem by ensuring your resume meets ATS standards. Corporate job openings typically attract 250 resumes, and 99% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS softwares to sort through candidates. With the hundreds of job applications companies receive, typically only 2% of candidates are called for an interview. 

Here are some tips that can tell you what you can do to beat the ATS and get your application into human hands.  


Improperly formatted resumes are a common reason they are rejected by ATS systems, yet have nothing to do with whether you are an appropriate candidate, or meet the job qualifications. Improper formatting does not allow ATS systems to read the content on your resume, causing the system to reject you. By following these formatting tips, ensure your resume is considered for its content, and not ruled out because of formatting issues.  

Use a .doc or .txt format. These formats are easiest for ATS Systems to read  

Leave out the graphics. They throw off the system’s ability to read your resume, causing the system to reject you 

Use Proper Headings. Improper formatting can cause information to be missing. Choose function over aesthetics. 

Bolded Words and Bulleted Lists. Use standard bullet points to sort and bolded words to categorize your resume instead of special characters or graphics that could throw off the system. 

No Multi-Column Resumes. They are genuinely not ATS friendly, and lower your chances of getting past the software. 


ATS systems are continually becoming more advanced, so it’s important to optimize your key words to improve your scoring. The more keywords you have and the more often they are used, the higher chance your resume makes it to the top of the pile.  

Use unique key words. Take a look at the job posting for the company you are applying for, and incorporate them in your resume. Keywords are a good indication as to what employers are looking for in candidates. 

Include them in the body. Key words are great to use to show off your skills, but including them in the body will add strength to your key word usage.  

Overcoming the ATS system boils down to having a well-formatted resume, doing your research, and reaching out multiple companies. ATS software systems are constantly changing and being updated, and Recruitable stays up to date on these changes to help make sure your resume complies with ATS standards. Follow these tips and check your resume in Recruitable to give yourself a leg up on the competition, and ensure your applications make it into human hands.