Quick Rules for an
ATS-Beating Resume

Make your resume stand out without overwhelming hiring managers and applicant tracking systems

Resumes Need to Be Streamlined. Run a Crackerjack Audit.

When you apply to jobs, your resume acts as an input into an applicant tracking system. The better you format your resume, the better it's scanned by the ATS and eventually the hiring managers. While cramming every achievement or detail from your work history may seem best, remember that resumes get your foot in the door. This is your billboard, not your novel. By using Crackerjack or our recommended rules below, you can increase the efficiency of your resume

The Resume Basics

Work Achievements

Your work achievement bullet points should highlight the most relevant achievements from your career. Each bullet point should quantify how you created value in that position.

Job Titles

While role responsibilities can be similar, titles vary across industries and companies. If your experience matches the job requirements, tweaking your titles is fair. Applicant tracking systems are programmed to look for titles.

Recommended Rules for Resumes

Below are ways to streamline your resume to better position your application in Applicant Tracking Systems. It's always better to highlight your recent experience and "cut the fluff" throughout your resume.

✅ Include the target job title (!)

Either in your summary or as the title of your most recent experience, you should have a close variation of the title you’re applying for. This is the quickest way to signal to hiring managers that you’re qualified for the role. Highlight this ASAP

✅ Add "Professional Summary" section

This is the most-read section of your resume. Customize to the job you are applying for so it catches the hiring manager’s eye. It’s best to keep it succinct and keyword-focused 

✅ 3 to 6 achievements for your recent jobs

Your first two work experiences are likely the only ones scanned by the recruiting manager and should have the most detail and top keywords

✅ 2 to 3 achievements for your remaining jobs

Your resume needs to be scannable and succinct. Front-load your achievements to your most recent experiences and add only the highlights for the remaining jobs

✅ 60 to 200 characters (max) for each achievement

Fluff is the enemy of scannability. Remember, do the hiring managers a favor and only use action verbs + quantifiable results to prove to them you deserve a place in the interview process

✅ 10 to 17 achievements for all work experiences

Cap your work achievements. Having 3 to 6 bullets per work experience keeps your resume scannable and ATS-friendly

✅ 5 to 9 skills (max) at end of resume

Trying to keyword stuff your resume with skills tends to hurt your resume scannability and is a red flag to recruiting managers scanning your resume