How to Beat Applicant Tracking System

Upload your resume for a complimentary review from an Award-Winning Recruiter and Resume Writer

(Board, C-Level, VP, Director & Mid-Career Professionals)

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Don’t upload your resume in .PDF, .DOCX or any other fancy format. Instead, stick to the good old .RTF or .DOC. Better yet, try converting your resume to .TXT to understand what information will be picked up by the ATS and how it will be displayed, and make adjustments accordingly.
  • Don’t use tables, text boxes, or columns. Most ATS’s won’t recognize and read them correctly.
  • Don’t embellish your resume with images, graphs, clipart, and symbols. The system will overlook them.
  • Don’t use fancy bullets (Wingdings, Webdings, etc.) Standard options should be fine, while “+”, “-“ and “*” are your safest bet.
  • Don’t experiment with fonts. Since applicant tracking software relies on optical character recognition (OCR), go with Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, or other standard fonts instead.
  • Don’t put important information, especially your contacts, in the header or the footer (except if it’s page 2+ of your resume). ATS usually skips headers and footers.
  • Don’t use abbreviations or acronyms. Spell everything out.
  • Don’t submit a functional resume. The system will not know how to interpret your document, so it’s unlikely that you’ll make the cut.


  • Do use common section headings and capitalize them (i.e. “WORK EXPERIENCE”, “EDUCATION”, “AWARDS”, not “Value Added” or “Team Building Expertise”). That way you can ensure that the ATS picks up and organizes your information properly.
  • Do put each piece of information on a new line. For example,

Dates of employment


College degree

  • Do repeat company name if you have held several positions within one organization.
  • Do fill your resume with appropriate buzzwords and key phrases, as it will be matched against a set of terms related to the vacant position and ranked accordingly. However, take care that you put the keywords in the context – sophisticated systems will know if you’re cheating.
  • Do take as many pages as you need to describe all the relevant work experiences, competencies and skills. With the ATS there’s no need to worry about the length.
  • Do have a “pretty”, i.e. visually attractive, version of your resume handy when you come in for an interview.

Is your resume optimized to be ATS-friendly? Do you have any tips on how to game the system? Share your experiences in our comment section!

Let us help you land your next position by crafting the best ATS optimized resume or by managing your entire job search. Here’s more information about our Resume Writing Services and Reverse Recruitment Service. Book a call today to speak directly with our CEO and Founder, Arno Markus!

About iCareerSolutions

iCareerSolutions, America’s #1 Executive and Professional Resume Writing Services, Reverse Recruitment, and LinkedIn Profile Development Company. 28X award-winning resume writers deliver professional resumes that get interviews. We have successfully landed our executive clients senior-level leadership positions at companies like Apple, Amazon, EA, Oracle, GM, Google, Facebook, DoJ, Gap, and 2U just to name a few. iCareerSolutions has 200+ 5-star reviews and offers a 60-day interview guarantee. Every resume template created is Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) compatible and highly customized to meet your unique needs.

Active Members of The National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA) │ The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARW&CC) │ Career Directors International (CDI) │ Career Professionals (CPC) │ Forbes Coaches Council

One of the Top Multi-Award-Winning Resume Writing Services in the country.

Book a complimentary consultation for your Professionally Managed Job Search now!

Forbes Coaches Council
60 Day Interview Guarantee

Here are some of our Top Resume Testimonials

Edward Dollard
Arno is fantastic! His process is solid. He fully understands your objectives and can edit your resume to bring out the best of your accomplishments. Easily one of the best investments in my career. Arno is engaged with you throughout the process and is able to work at your pace. He can turn around your resume quickly and collaborate with you on edits. I definitely recommend Arno for elevating you…
Edward DollardVice President of Procurement
blank profile picture 1
I was in need of an updated resume to begin my job hunting. Arno and his company were there for me and gave multiple options and advice to help me to upgrade and better my resume. Arno and his associates were there for me every step. They gave me many chances until we finalized the product. Since the final product has been out there on LinkedIn, I have had many recruiters respond. Arno and his tea…
Bob IngersollSr. Principal Systems Engineer
blank profile picture
Arno’s resume writing services have exceeded my expectations. With regards to my resume, Markus performed a fantastic job. My specialty of engineering is typically difficult to explain, yet he did a creative resume. I’m at a loss for words to express my gratitude to Arnos after he helped me stand out from among hundreds of applicants with my Resume. I encourage everyone having trouble landing a ne…
Ashraf ElnasharSoftware Engineer
blank profile picture
They helped me improve my personal Brand, they provided constructive feedback on my resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letter. Now, recruiters are scheduling more interviews with me.
Tatiana Turner
Arno did a great job with writing my resume. I have been searching for a job for about 12 months with no success. However, after Arno helped me with my resume I got a job offer 2 weeks later from the desired company.
Tatiana TurnerIT Project Manager
First, I will tell you that Arno is a great listener and encouraging. I found the service to be top-notch. Provides guidance, and is very responsive. Delivers on each promise. I am very happy with the results of my Resume, LinkedIn profile, and advice on building my brand. Highly recommend.
Guy AustinOperations Executive
Miran Pleterski
I highly recommend Arno of iCareers for his outstanding highly professional time-efficient performance and assistance in professional powerful CV and LinkedIn-profile writing! His insightful advices and approaches based on his rich industry experience are invaluable. Do you need an efficient effective true professional helping you with your high-level CV and LinkedIn profile and more, do not …
Miran PleterskiVP of Strategy
Brian W.
I had the pleasure of working with Arno and recommend him highly. Arno was consistently organized, well-prepared, mindful of my time and able to efficiently execute at each turn. I am grateful for his collaboration and insights and would not hesitate working with Arno in the future.
Brian W.IT Director
Hector Moran
I would like to remind how important could be an outstanding resume and a well-structured cover letter when you start a job search. Bear in mind how crowded is the job market nowadays. Having said that, Arnold is the quintessence in terms or professional resume writing, someone that identifies from the very beginning the key strengths of a person in order to present the best picture in a very conv…
Hector MoranSenior Portfolio Manager
Bob Shoyhet
It is my pleasure to recommend Arno. He is a true subject matter expert, and a great project manager to boot! He calls when he says he will, he delivers on or before promised dates, he brings excellent ideas to the table and recommends superb solutions. I was thoroughly impressed with his thought process and results. Superb! It is my pleasure to recommend Arno. He is a true subject matter expert, …
Bob ShoyhetChief Financial Officer

Top Resume Writing Awards

Employers who have Onboarded Our Clients

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top


Let The Best Resume Writing Service In The US Help You Outshine Your Toughest Job Competitors!

Upload your resume for a complimentary review from an Award-Winning Resume Writer
(Board, C-Level, VP, Director & Mid-Career Professionals)