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How to write an ATS-friendly resume
october 31, 2023
by Jackie Cuevas
Searching for a job can be a daunting, emotional, and unpredictable process. On top of that, the job market is extremely competitive, which makes it that much more difficult to land a first interview.
The biggest key to opening the door to interviews is making sure that your resume is tailored correctly AND is ATS (applicant tracking system)-friendly. But first, let’s review what an Applicant Tracking System is.
What is an Applicant Tracking System?
An Applicant Tracking System is a type of software application that HR and Talent Acquisition teams utilize for open positions. Typically, when a job seeker applies for a position on a company’s careers page, their resume will be put into a file for that specific position. Any incoming resumes will get organized for that specific role.
When it’s time to review resumes, HR or the recruiter will go into the ATS and sift through resumes for each position. But some positions get upwards of 100 resumes each, and given the time crunch that HR and recruiters are on to fill open roles, it’s likely that not every resume will get seen. That’s why it’s absolutely key that your resume is optimized correctly and makes it into the ATS batch.
Here’s what you need to know to ensure your resume has the best chance of getting seen.
Leverage an ATS-friendly layout
There’s no need to include sections that are irrelevant to job searching, such as your hobbies or interests, personal information, or your professional headshot. The resume is composed of 3 portions: top, middle, and bottom. Let’s start at the top. The top portion of your resume should include your primary contact information:
- Your full name
- Your current city and state ( Including your full address is outdated. For safety and privacy reasons, you no longer have to add this. Simply add your city and state.)
- Your email address ( Please make sure it’s appropriate and not your email address from junior high (farewell [email protected])
- Your phone number
- Your LinkedIn ( If you don’t have one, then I highly recommend you create one.)
- A link to a personal website or digital portfolio for all the creators who want to show off their work.
In addition to your contact information, the top portion should also include your “Skills”. These are your hard/technical skills, so think of programs, systems, and software that you have used or currently use. Make sure you’re paying close attention to the list of required and preferred skills in the job description. That is what you should incorporate in your resume, but only if you are truly proficient. You don’t want to get caught in any lies.
Next is the middle portion- the meat and potatoes of your resume. This is where your “Experience” goes. For recent graduates and those new or coming back into the workforce, it’s important to call out that experience can come from school activities, volunteer work, or freelance projects, and not just from paid jobs. Be sure to list your work experience in reverse chronological order, with your current/most recent role at the top, and your oldest at the bottom.
Lastly, let’s talk about the bottom portion of your resume, which should address your “Education.” If you’re still in school, then you would move your Education section to the top portion underneath your contact information. However, if you’ve graduated, then make sure to keep it at the bottom. If you don’t have a college or high school degree, you can simply remove this section or include Certifications or Boot Camps you’ve completed.
Now that you have the foundation of a resume, let’s move on to formatting.
To create an ATS-friendly resume, here’s what you should avoid:
- Overly designed templates
These are just a few elements that can negatively affect your resume, should it go through an applicant tracking system.
To err on the safe side, it’s better to keep your resume simple with these tips:
- Use traditional fonts, like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman - these fonts are widely accepted, whereas some of the calligraphy style fonts may not be recognized in an ATS.
- Only use black text – using other colors may distort your resume.
- Keep it to one column – two columns, text boxes, or lines can affect your resume sections and run the risk of moving information around accidentally.
- Save it as a PDF – By doing this, you “lock” in the information on your resume, eliminating the possibility of changes being made after you send it.
ATS-friendly bullet points
Once you have the sections and formatting down, the final priority is to make sure your bullet points reflect your successes within each role. Typically, you include your general responsibilities for each position on your resume, which can sound like this, “Answer all incoming phone calls.” This describes what you do, but what recruiters and HR professionals want to see is how and why you did it. When modifying your bullets, ask yourself these questions:
- Why am I responsible for this task?
- How do/did I accomplish this task?
- What resulted from me doing this task?
Incorporate any data, metrics, or numbers to support your points. So going back to our example, “ Answer all incoming phone calls ,” one way to make it stronger with concrete success metrics could be, “ Answer 50+ calls a day as first point of contact for the company to answer and rectify all customer requests and concerns. ” While it may sound wordy, those extra words go a long way in the eyes of a recruiter.
Another key tip to strengthen bullet points is to incorporate keywords from the job description. Read through the job posting and pay close attention to what the job requires. For example, if a job posting is asking for someone to “Manage the new hire onboarding process,” then you’ll want to include those words on your resume, but only if they apply to your experience.
One more tip : Use strong action verbs, such as lead, optimize, organize, execute, or implement, and avoid overused or weaker verbs such as responsible for, assist, and help.
Now that I’ve gone through the DO’s, I want to address a big DON’T before you start customizing your resume.
- Don’t copy and paste the entire job description onto your resume, change the font color to white, and reduce the font size to 1. This “hack” may seem like a good idea to bypass the ATS filters, but recruiters do see this on their end, and can result in your resume being tossed out. It’s not worth the risk.
The key to a great, ATS-friendly resume includes optimizing for keywords, adding strong action verbs, success metrics, and good formatting. And remember, prioritize quality experience over quantity.
It may seem like tailoring your resume is a lot of work, but if you truly put in the effort and take the time to do it right, you’ll see interviews start to come through. Good luck!
Delta Air Lines To Resume Service From Salt Lake City To Santa Barbara
Posted: November 7, 2023 | Last updated: November 7, 2023
- Delta Air Lines is resuming its double daily service between Salt Lake City and Santa Barbara using the A220-300, offering passengers a comfortable flight experience with inflight amenities.
- The schedule shows that the aircraft will stay overnight in Santa Barbara to accommodate an early morning return to Salt Lake City, providing a popular option for business travelers and those connecting to Delta's extensive network.
- With Atlanta also added to the Santa Barbara network, Atlanta will be the airport's most easterly gateway, giving customers more options to access destinations in the US West through Delta.
Delta Air Lines is looking to double down on Santa Barbara, California, with its upcoming double daily service resumption from Salt Lake City . The service, last operated between August 2019 and July 2020, will now be served twice daily with the state-of-the-art Airbus A220-300 .
Relaunching its direct connection from June 7th of next year, the airline will deploy its 130 seater A220 on the service, with 12 first class seats, 30 in Delta Comfort +, and 88 remaining in standard economy. All passengers will enjoy inflight WiFi, USB in-seat power, a personal TV screen, and satellite television.
Delta's return to Santa Barbara will be complemented by another direct service to the airline Atlanta hub; this route is set to commence on the same day as Salt Lake, June 7th.
Get all the latest aviation news for North America here.
From Salt Lake, the twice daily service will depart late morning and late evening, as noted below:
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA)
- DL1001, departing from Salt Lake at 11:15 and touching down in Santa Barbara at 12:18 (block time of 2hr3mins)
- DL1025, departing from Salt Lake at 22:45 and arriving in Santa Barbara at 23:51 (block time of 2h6mins)
Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA) to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
- DL1023, departing from Santa Barbara at 06:00 and touching down into Salt Lake at 08:55 (block time 1hr55mins)
- DL1001, departing from Santa Barbara at 13:20 and arriving in Salt Lake at 16:15 (block time of 1hr55mins)
Remaining on the apron overnight
With the schedule clearly outlining that the aircraft will remain in Santa Barbara overnight to facilitate the early morning return to Salt Lake, will mean that on June 7th, the airline will only operate on outbound service from SBA, being DL1001 at 13:20. The early morning service will no doubt be popular for business travelers and those looking to connect into the more comprehensive DL network from SLC.
Read more: Delta Air Lines To Resume Several West Coast Routes Next Summer .
Joe Esposito, Senior Vice President of Network Planning at Delta, noted the airline's excitement about returning to Santa Barbara:
"By reopening service to Santa Barbara and delivering more ways to access sought-after destinations throughout the US West, we’re more ready than ever to take our customers on their next great adventures – with the service, reliability, and convenience they’ve come to know and expect when flying Delta."
With Atlanta joining the Santa Barbara route map from June next year, ATL will become the airport's most easterly gateway.
No direct competition for Delta
With both Salt Lake and Atlanta key Delta hubs, the airline will ironically not face any direct competition on either route. However, American Airlines and United maintain multiple services to their respective corners (including AA - Dallas and Phoenix and UA - Denver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles).
Southwest, the only low-cost carrier serving the airport, maintains four direct services, including Denver, Las Vegas, Oakland (San Francisco), and Sacramento.
Delta Air Lines
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Meet Pro Sports Fans (PSF), the group messaging app that’s centered around live, interactive sports podcasting communities. As the new social experience that’s driving the next generation of live podcasters and journalists, we’re offering internships for our new sports media brand, PSF.
With PSF, we’re going beyond the social constraints of traditional print, digital, and broadcast journalism with “conversational journalism”. This is a new interactive content format between creators and audiences that integrates articles, live audio/video streaming and live chat community all in one place. It’s easier for journalists, more engaging for users, and more measurable for advertisers.
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G.M.’s Cruise Moved Fast in the Driverless Race. It Got Ugly.
Cruise has hired a law firm to investigate how it responded to regulators, as its cars sit idle and questions grow about its C.E.O.’s expansion plans.
By Tripp Mickle , Cade Metz and Yiwen Lu
Tripp Mickle, Cade Metz and Yiwen Lu have been reporting throughout the year on the rollout of robot taxis in San Francisco.
Two months ago, Kyle Vogt, the chief executive of Cruise, choked up as he recounted how a driver had killed a 4-year-old girl in a stroller at a San Francisco intersection. “It barely made the news,” he said, pausing to collect himself. “Sorry. I get emotional.”
To make streets safer, he said in an interview, cities should embrace self-driving cars like those designed by Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors. They do not get distracted, drowsy or drunk, he said, and being programmed to put safety first meant they could substantially reduce car-related fatalities.
Now Mr. Vogt’s driverless car company faces its own safety concerns as he contends with angry regulators, anxious employees, and skepticism about his management and the viability of a business that he has often said will save lives while generating billions of dollars.
On Oct. 2, a car hit a woman in a San Francisco intersection and flung her into the path of one of Cruise’s driverless taxis . The Cruise car ran over her, briefly stopped and then dragged her some 20 feet before pulling to the curb, causing severe injuries.
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles last week accused Cruise of omitting the dragging of the woman from a video of the incident it initially provided to the agency. The D.M.V. said the company had “misrepresented” its technology and told Cruise to shut down its driverless car operations in the state.
Two days later, Cruise went further and voluntarily suspended all of its driverless operations around the country, taking 400 or so driverless cars off the road. Since then, Cruise’s board has hired the law firm Quinn Emanuel to investigate the company’s response to the incident, including its interactions with regulators, law enforcement and the media.
The board plans to evaluate the findings and any recommended changes. Exponent, a consulting firm that evaluates complex software systems, is conducting a separate review of the crash, said two people who attended a companywide meeting at Cruise on Monday.
Cruise employees worry that there is no easy way to fix the company’s problems, said five former and current employees and business partners, while its rivals fear Cruise’s issues could lead to tougher driverless car rules for all of them.
Company insiders are putting the blame for what went wrong on a tech industry culture — led by the 38-year-old Mr. Vogt — that put a priority on the speed of the program over safety. In the competition between Cruise and its top driverless car rival, Waymo, Mr. Vogt wanted to dominate in the same way Uber dominated its smaller ride-hailing competitor, Lyft.
“Kyle is a guy who is willing to take risks, and he is willing to move quickly. He is very Silicon Valley,” said Matthew Wansley, a professor at the Cardozo School of Law in New York who specializes in emerging automotive technologies. “That both explains the success of Cruise and its mistakes.”
When Mr. Vogt spoke to the company about its suspended operations on Monday, he said that he did not know when they could start again and that layoffs could be coming, according to two employees who attended the companywide meeting.
He acknowledged that Cruise had lost the public’s trust, the employees said, and outlined a plan to win it back by being more transparent and putting more emphasis on safety. He named Louise Zhang, vice president of safety, as the company’s interim chief safety officer and said she would report directly to him.
“Trust is one of those things that takes a long time to build and just seconds to lose,” Mr. Vogt said, according to attendees. “We need to get to the bottom of this and start rebuilding that trust.”
Cruise declined to make Mr. Vogt available for an interview. G.M. said in a statement that its “commitment to Cruise with the goal of commercialization remains steadfast.” It said it believed in the company’s mission and technology and supported its steps to put safety first.
Mr. Vogt began working on self-driving cars as a teenager. When he was 13, he programmed a Power Wheels ride-on toy car to follow the yellow line in a parking lot. He later participated in a government-sponsored self-driving car competition while studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 2013, he started Cruise Automation. The company retrofitted conventional cars with sensors and computers to operate autonomously on highways. He sold the business three years later to G.M. for $1 billion .
After the deal closed, Dan Ammann, G.M.’s president, took over as Cruise’s chief executive, and Mr. Vogt became its president and chief technology officer.
As president, Mr. Vogt built out Cruise’s engineering team while the company expanded to about 2,000 employees from 40, former employees said. He championed bringing cars to as many markets as fast as possible, believing that the speedier the company moved, the more lives it would save, former employees said.
In 2021, Mr. Vogt took over as chief executive. Mary T. Barra, G.M.’s chief executive, began including Mr. Vogt on earnings calls and presentations, where he hyped the self-driving market and predicted that Cruise would have one million cars by 2030.
Mr. Vogt pressed his company to continue its aggressive expansion, learning from problems its cars ran into while driving in San Francisco. The company charged an average of $10.50 per ride in the city.
After a Cruise vehicle collided with a Toyota Prius driving in a bus lane last summer, some people at the company proposed having its vehicles temporarily avoid streets with bus lanes, former employees said. But Mr. Vogt vetoed that idea, saying Cruise’s vehicles needed to continue to drive those streets to master their complexity. The company later changed its software to reduce the risk of similar accidents.
In August, a Cruise driverless car collided with a San Francisco fire truck that was responding to an emergency. The company later changed the way its cars detect sirens .
But after the crash, city officials and activists pressured the state to slow Cruise’s expansion. They also called on Cruise to provide more data about collisions, including documentation of unplanned stops, traffic violations and vehicle performance, said Aaron Peskin, president of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.
“Cruise’s corporate behavior over time has increasingly led to a lack of trust,” Mr. Peskin said.
With its business frozen, there are concerns that Cruise is becoming too much of a financial burden on G.M. and is hurting the auto giant’s reputation. Ms. Barra told investors that Cruise had “tremendous opportunity to grow” just hours before California’s D.MV. told Cruise to shut down its driverless operations.
Cruise has not collected fares or ferried riders in more than a week. In San Francisco, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Miami, and Austin, Texas, hundreds of Cruise’s white and orange Chevrolet Bolts sit stagnant. The shutdown complicates Cruise’s ambition of hitting its goal of $1 billion of revenue in 2025.
G.M. has spent an average of $588 million a quarter on Cruise over the past year, a 42 percent increase from a year ago. Each Chevrolet Bolt that Cruise operates costs $150,000 to $200,000, according to a person familiar with its operations.
Half of Cruise’s 400 cars were in San Francisco when the driverless operations were stopped. Those vehicles were supported by a vast operations staff, with 1.5 workers per vehicle. The workers intervened to assist the company’s vehicles every 2.5 to five miles, according to two people familiar with is operations. In other words, they frequently had to do something to remotely control a car after receiving a cellular signal that it was having problems.
To cover its spiraling costs, G.M. will need to inject or raise more funds for the business, said Chris McNally, a financial analyst at Evercore ISI. During a call with analysts in late October, Ms. Barra said G.M. would share its funding plans before the end of the year.
Tripp Mickle reports on Apple and Silicon Valley for The Times and is based in San Francisco. His focus on Apple includes product launches, manufacturing issues and political challenges. He also writes about trends across the tech industry, including layoffs, generative A.I. and robot taxis. More about Tripp Mickle
Cade Metz is a technology reporter and the author of “Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought A.I. to Google, Facebook, and The World.” He covers artificial intelligence, driverless cars, robotics, virtual reality and other emerging areas. More about Cade Metz
Yiwen Lu reports on technology for The New York Times. More about Yiwen Lu