Crafting an ATS-Friendly CV: Best Practices and Formatting Tips in 2024


In today’s competitive job market, having an optimized curriculum vitae (CV) is essential for catching the attention of hiring managers and applicant tracking systems (ATS). An ATS-friendly CV ensures that your qualifications and experiences are accurately parsed and understood by automated systems, increasing your chances of landing interviews. In this article, we’ll delve into the best practices and formatting tips for creating an ATS-friendly CV that stands out to both human recruiters and automated systems.

Understanding ATS

Before diving into CV formatting tips, it’s crucial to understand how ATS works. ATS is software used by employers to streamline the recruitment process by scanning, parsing, and sorting through large volumes of resumes. These systems use algorithms to identify keywords, skills, and qualifications relevant to the job opening, helping recruiters identify top candidates efficiently.

1. Contact Information: Start your CV with your contact information, including your full name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile URL. Place this information at the top of the document, making it easy for recruiters and ATS to locate.

2. Professional Summary/Objective: Following your contact information, include a brief professional summary or objective statement that highlights your key qualifications, experiences, and career goals. Use keywords relevant to the job you’re applying for to ensure ATS captures this information effectively.

3. Work Experience: List your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position. For each job, include the job title, company name, location, and dates of employment. Use bullet points to highlight your key responsibilities, achievements, and contributions in each role. Focus on quantifiable achievements and use action verbs to convey your impact.

4. Education: Next, include your educational background, starting with your highest level of education. Include the name of the institution, degree earned, major or field of study, and graduation year. If you have relevant certifications or additional training, include them in this section as well.

5. Skills: Create a dedicated skills section to highlight your technical skills, language proficiencies, and other relevant abilities. Use a combination of industry-specific keywords and general skills to ensure ATS captures this information accurately. Organize your skills into subsections or categories for clarity.

6. Certifications and Awards: If you have obtained any certifications, licenses, or awards relevant to the job, include them in a separate section of your CV. List the certification or award title, issuing organization, and date of achievement. This information can help ATS and recruiters identify your additional qualifications and accomplishments.

7. Volunteer Experience: If applicable, include any relevant volunteer experience or community involvement in a dedicated section of your CV. Highlight the organization or cause you volunteered for, your role or responsibilities, and the dates of your involvement. Volunteer experience can demonstrate your commitment to community engagement and showcase additional skills and experiences.

8. Tailoring Your CV for Each Application: While creating an ATS-friendly CV is essential, it’s equally important to tailor your CV for each job application. Review the job description carefully and identify key skills, qualifications, and keywords mentioned in the posting. Customize your CV to align with the specific requirements of the job, using language and terminology that mirrors the job description.

9. Proofreading and Formatting Checks: Before submitting your CV, thoroughly proofread the document for spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. Ensure consistency in formatting, font styles, and bullet points throughout the document. Consider using a spell checker and enlisting the help of a trusted friend or colleague to review your CV for accuracy and clarity.

Also read about Crafting an Irresistible LinkedIn Profile: Your Gateway to Professional Success


Creating an ATS-friendly CV requires careful attention to formatting, content, and customization. By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can craft a CV that effectively communicates your qualifications to both human recruiters and automated systems. Remember to keep your CV clear, concise, and tailored to each job application, maximizing your chances of success in the job market. With an optimized ATS-friendly CV, you’ll be well-positioned to stand out to potential employers and secure your next career opportunity.

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2 thoughts on “Crafting an ATS-Friendly CV: Best Practices and Formatting Tips in 2024”

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