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If it’s been a while since your last job search, you may have been introduced to a new tool to look out for called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These systems help employers filter through resumes easier by identifying specific keywords and phrases and eliminating the ones that don’t have them. This makes utilizing top rated resume writing services even more important, since they can identify ATS terms you need to use and ones you need to avoid. The more research you do on ATS, the more misinformation you could potentially read. Here are some of the most common ATS myths we’ve seen and you shouldn’t believe.

Length Makes A Difference

The best executive resume format may suggest keeping your resume to no more than two pages, but the length actually has no impact on ATS. The hiring manager may not want to read a long resume, however. Having a long resume won’t hurt your chances of passing through ATS, but be careful with the length since it will eventually be read by an actual person.

Only Certain File Types Are Acceptable

Most of the newer Applicant Tracking Systems can read resumes and cover letters in various formats. Your goal should be to create a version which is easily readable for humans and another computer-friendly version. The good news is when you submit a resume electronically, the system will prompt you to upload the preferred file type so you can convert it accordingly.

Keywords Can Never Be Overused

ATS mythsYou never know which keywords an employer is looking for in a resume. However, one thing you shouldn’t do is stuff it with the keywords you think are most relevant. Incorporating a mix of keywords into your resumes and cover letters is more effective than having a high density of one particular keyword. Keywords can definitely be overused and will make your resume sound unnatural as a result.

Capitalization or Various Fonts Can’t Be Used

ATS generally doesn’t recognize or penalize you for using capitalization, various fonts or styles. Your goal is to make your resume stand out without going overboard, and one strategy is to use these different features. If this is your strategy, then you can proceed accordingly without worrying about not passing ATS.

* By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Find Erin at