If you were to log on to right now and search resume templates, you will find over 8,000 results! Scrolling through all of these selections, you are going to find some visually interesting, pretty resumes. But what which one do you pick? Hint… none of them.

There are two main types of resume templates out there. The pretty ones, that we call networking resumes and ones that are more content-driven structured to be optimized for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

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What is a Networking Resume and why would I need one?

A networking resume is usually only one page, might have your picture included, lots of color and graphics, and only summarizes your experience. While this document should not take the place of your ATS-optimized resume, it can be a great tool to be used for networking meetings, leave-behinds at interviews, or to hand out when your full-length resume might be awkward.  

How do I know if my resume is ATS-Optimized?

There are 5 rules to creating an ATS-Optimized resume.


Rule #1: Never overlap information in multiple columns (i.e. skills in one and professional experience another). This can confuse the system and cause your information not to upload properly.

Rule #2: Avoid pictures and other graphics. They will only be deleted once uploaded.

Rule #3: Always include a key skills or areas of expertise section at the TOP of your resume in the summary section. This is your prime real-estate. Not only is this section needed to increase your rating, it is important for recruiters and hiring managers to immediately see your relevant skills.

Rule #4: Don’t get creative with your section headings. While it might seem fun to name your “Professional Experience” section as “What I’ve Done”, the system won’t understand and will leave off that section for scoring.

Rule #5. Always test your resume. An easy way to double check that your resume will upload properly is to save it as a text file (.txt). You will see what gets messed up and needs to be fixed.

Just remember the most important rule to resume templates, scan-ability then readability. You can still create a visually interesting resume that is ATS-Optimized.

Need help ensuring your resume is ATS-Optimized? Send it to my email at with the subject line ‘Is my resume ATS Optimized?’ for a free resume review!