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Proper CV writing is an art. It is a combination of your personality, skills, and professional experience. To write a professional CV, one must keep several things in mind, including what information to provide, how to keep it straightforward, how to highlight the important points, and how to make it stand out from the crowd.

Let’s take a look at how you can write an optimised, ATS-friendly CV like a pro. Whether you are a first-time job seeker or reentering the job market, it is important to make sure your CV is targeted to the job you are applying for.

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What is an ATS?

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are used by top companies to manage the hiring process. These software solutions automate the tasks of receiving and storing résumés and screening candidates. They can also be programmed to automatically send interview invitations and reminders and notify hiring managers when a candidate has applied online.

What is an ATS-friendly CV

An ATS-friendly CV is a résumé that has been created in a way that makes it easy for the Applicant Tracking System to read. These kinds of CVs contain keywords related to the advertised role – soft and hard skills.

This type of CV is not just a comprehensive summary of your skills, experience, and achievements, it has been optimised in a way that makes it machine-readable. ATS résumés are one of the most important tools you can use to promote yourself and stand out.

How to write an ATS-friendly CV?

There are several things to look out for when writing an ATS-compliant CV, like graphics, inappropriate file formats, and header and footer content. These can be seen as errors and might confuse the ATS system. Here’s how to write a CV that will put you front and centre.

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- Simplicity is key

Don’t overthink it. Choose a simple font. Recruiters and HR personnel take seconds to scan your CV and make a decision, so the font you choose has to be legible. Standard ATS friendly fonts for CVs are classics like Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, and Georgia, and text has to be a readable font size of at least 12 points.

- Choose the right file type

PDF files are a safe bet when it comes to uploading a résumé. They’re compatible with almost all the Applicant Tracking Systems and they preserve design and formatting. You should always send a PDF version of your résumé if PDF is among the file formats you can upload.

- Optimise with keywords

The best way to get your résumé ATS friendly is by using keywords. Unlike buzzwords, usually marketing words like ‘proactive’ or ‘self-starter’, keywords represent the soft skills and hard skills you possess as well as the expertise you’ve acquired over the years. Employers and HR personnel will use these keywords to search ATS systems for candidates who fit their vacancy requirements.



A well-written CV is more than just an essential tool for job hunters, it’s also a tool that can be used to boost career prospects. An ATS optimised CV will make you stand out from the crowd of candidates who have the same qualifications or experience you do. It’s also an excellent way to get recruiters interested in you. Register your CV on Job Mail and create a free job seeker profile.

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