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If you are looking for an ATS certified resume, you will need a resume writer that follows the Resume Resort (the firm to launch the first ATS resume in 1999) and RigBoyz' annual ATS compliance and compatibility guidelines, located below. 


These rules are global standards, that when adhered to, ensure that all resumes that go into an ATS (Applicant Tracking Software) are compatible with the program. Without compatibility being ensured, applicant data fails to extrapolate properly and errors occur in the data transfer. When this happens, candidate profiles are set up inaccurately and greatly diminish the chances of the applicants success.

Every year, Resume Resort / RigBoyz, author the below ATS compatibility and compliance standards to assist both professional resume writers and candidates (that embark on creating their own ATS compatible resume) by updating these global standards.

What is an ATS?

An ATS (applicant tracking system) is a software program used by Human Resources departments, recruiters and employers, during the recruitment and hiring process, to advertise for, collect, scan, prioritize, and rank the job applications (candidates) they receive via their online portals.


The Resume Must:

  1. Be saved and loaded online in either a .doc. .docx file type (even if the posting lists PDF as acceptable).

  2. Be designed with as many keywords that match your core competencies as possible (covered in multiple presentations, such as commonly used acronyms / synonyms, abbreviations, etc.) Be sure to use tailored keywords, industry terms, and skills, and in various representations (such as: Safety Officer, Safety Coordinator, Safety Compliance, OHS, Health and Safety, HSE, etc.).

  3. Have contact information (full name, mailing address, email, LinkedIn URL, and phone number) located on the top of the resume, in the BODY of the document.

  4. Have all content in text only format throughout the document.

  5. Have all content organized in the OPEN BODY AREA.

  6. Use commonly used headings to articulate the content in that section, such as, "Employment History", "Education", "Certifications", etc.

  7. Use common fonts (Ariel, Calibri, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Georgia, Verdana, Trebuchet MS).

  8. Use the "bullet feature" for standard bullets.

  9. Be read from left to right, top to bottom, only.

  10. Use sparingly: bold, CAPS, italics, bullets, and color.

  11. Use a chronological layout and prioritize each section chronologically from most relevant to least relevant information from within that section.

  12. Include a detailed, organized, Skills / Core Competencies section that contains (at the very least) 100+ relevant keywords, commonly used jargon, terminology, skills, etc.

  13. Include ideally 1500 – 2200 words relevant to the job posting and credentials required for the specific position.

  14. Include the years for education and employment history.

  15. Use font sizes 11 – 12 (12-16 for candidate name).

  16. Be proofread (errors in any keyword spelling will read as if the skill was not there, meaning no points in the ATS for that skill).

  17. Contain only relevant, job specific information (increases ATS ratio, therefore improving ATS score). For example, instead of writing, “Hard working, dedicated and punctual”, which are all filler words, write, “20 years of experience offering cost and life saving Safety Services, with a focus on reducing workplace injuries (-15% over the past 4 years, consecutively)”.



The Resume Must NOT:

  1. Be submitted in a .PDF, .jpg, .PNG, a link to Google documents (or any other link to access the resume), or any other file type other than .doc, .docx.

  2. Include active hyperlinks other than to LinkedIn (from within the contact information section at the top of the resume). Website addresses can be listed without hyperlinks, where required.

  3. Have any content in the Header or Footer area, most especially contact information.

  4. Have content in a table, chart, vertical columns, or textboxes.

  5. Include any graphs, charts, images, graphics, photos (including a personal photo), or logo's, etc.

  6. Use unusual headings in place of common resume headings (such as, “Work History”, “Education”, etc.).

  7. Use fancy, cursive, or custom fonts.

  8. Keyword stuff or keyword embed.Do not copy a job description word for word or use white text. Never use content on the page hidden or represented in small fonts.

  9. Use fancy bullets, special characters, symbols, or images for bullets, instead of using standard MS Word bullets.

  10. Attempt to fit all pertinent content into two pages by using fonts smaller than an 11.

  11. Contain a copy and paste of any published job description, third party or other copy-written material.

  12. Be organized in any other layout to be read other than left to right and top to bottom.

  13. Contain less than 1500 words relevant to the job posting and credentials required for the specific position.

  14. Repetitively list the same duties, tasks, keywords, or skills beneath each employment position. Instead, use a Core Competencies section and list each skill in various ways, organically and in proper sentence format.

  15. Omit the years for education and employment history to attempt to avoid potential age discrimination or hide gaps in employment.

  16. Contain irrelevant information or filler words (reduces ATS ratio, therefore reducing score).

Looking to get Certified through Resume Resort as an ATS Certified Compliant Resume Writer? Contact us here for information on this certification:

Submit Application fee here.

Ready to order your resume? Simple order process here

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