What are ATS formatted CVs

What are ATS formatted CVs

An ATS-formatted CV (Curriculum Vitae) is one specifically designed to pass through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and reach human eyes. ATS are software programs used by many companies to automate and manage the initial stages of their recruitment process. They scan incoming resumes and CVs for relevant keywords and qualifications based on the job description, filtering out submissions that don’t match well.

Here are the key features of an ATS-formatted CV:


  • Simple and clean: Use a standard font like Arial or Times New Roman, and avoid fancy formatting, tables, or graphics.
  • Logical structure: Clearly label sections like “Work Experience,” “Education,” and “Skills” for easy parsing by the ATS.
  • Consistent layout: Use consistent spacing, indentation, and bullet points throughout the CV.
  • Save as PDF: Convert your CV to a PDF format, as this ensures consistent formatting across different devices.


  • Keyword optimisation: Include relevant keywords and phrases from the job description throughout your CV, especially in your profile summary and work experience descriptions. Use a natural flow, avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Action verbs: Highlight your achievements using strong action verbs that demonstrate your skills and impact.
  • Quantifiable results: Whenever possible, quantify your achievements with numbers, percentages, or metrics to showcase your impact.
  • Tailoring: Tailor your CV to each specific job you apply for, emphasising the most relevant skills and experience.

Additional Tips:

  • Proofread carefully: Ensure there are no typos or grammatical errors in your CV, as these can be red flags for an ATS.
  • Keep it concise: Aim for a concise CV, ideally 1-2 pages long, focusing on the most relevant information.
  • Use a keyword scanner: Tools like Jobscan can help you analyse your CV for keyword optimisation and suggest improvements.

By following these guidelines, you can create an ATS-formatted CV that increases your chances of getting noticed by human recruiters and landing the job you desire. Remember, an ATS-friendly CV is just one component of a successful job application. Make sure you tailor your cover letter and highlight your soft skills during the interview as well.