Mastering the ATS-Optimized Resume: Matching the Language and Style of Job Descriptions

This article is part of a series of helping craft an optimized ATS resume.

Creating an ATS-optimized resume involves more than listing your skills and experiences—it requires mirroring the language and style of the job description. This strategy boosts your chances of being flagged as a strong match by the ATS. When writing your resume, study the job posting carefully and note the key phrases, qualifications, and tone used. Then, align your resume’s language to reflect these elements closely.

If you feel the need to taylor your resume, use one of the AI tools to match your narrative, tailoring your professional summary to echo the job description’s primary requirements. For example, if the job posting emphasizes "collaborative project management" and "proactive problem-solving," ensure these terms appear prominently in your summary. Similarly, when detailing your work experience, use the same language found in the job description. If the job asks for expertise in "data analysis and reporting," describe your relevant experience using those exact phrases. This helps the ATS recognize you as a strong fit for the role.

Additionally, match your resume’s style and reading level to the job description. If the job posting uses concise, straightforward language, ensure your resume does the same. Use bullet points to highlight your achievements and responsibilities clearly. This not only makes it easier for the ATS to scan your resume but also creates a narrative that resonates with the human recruiters who will review your application. By aligning your resume’s language and style with the job description, you enhance your chances of making it through the ATS and impressing the hiring team.