How to outsmart the robots reading your resume


When you’re crafting your resume, it’s easy to feel discouraged. Not because you don’t know how to express yourself or because you’re exhausted after sending what feels like your 1,000th resume. Instead, you’re not sure if your resume will ever make it past the robots—also known as the applicant tracking system (ATS)—that many organizations use to screen applicants. It’s easy to appeal to a human, but what on earth can you say to a machine?

That’s why we were excited to see this infographic from Hire Right (h/t The Daily Muse). In addition to explaining how applicant tracking systems work, they offer tips on how to make sure your resume gets past the robots. Some of their tips mirror common resume-writing advice: use the language of the job description, don’t use abbreviations or fancy fonts. Other tips are quite new: a longer resume might actually help you get past an ATS and don’t upload a PDF.

Check out the infographic below. Anything surprising to you?



Like what you just read?
Sign up to get more articles like this sent straight to your inbox.
Photo Credit:

About Author

Former Editor and Creator of Idealist Careers, a publication of Follow me on Twitter @ajlovesya.


  1. What do you do when you’re in a “back to work program” that sends 200 + people to the same job sites for hire? The going rate for individuals who are on public assistance is “w e p” , which is a non hiring program in which you work for your benefits. This idea is not working and seems to help joblessness continue since there is no hope of gaining employment in sight. I like what I’ve been reading on your website, but the truth is I live in a real world with no job.

  2. Pingback: Robots and Resumes | ckijobsearch

Like what you're reading? Never miss a post.

Join 14,000 people who receive free daily tips on how to: