16 ATS-Friendly Resume Templates [Great for 2021]

23 September
4 min read

Have you ever put so much effort into a job application, only to never get a call-back from a recruiter? 

You might chalk that up to “I just wasn’t a good fit,” but sometimes, the reason for it is something else entirely:

Your resume could have been rejected by an applicant tracking system (ATS in short).

An ATS is a type of software that automatically scans your resume and determines whether or not it’s relevant for the position.

Sometimes, though, an ATS rejects your resume just because it can’t read your resume template because of formatting issues.

This brings us to this article! 

To make sure that your resume can be read by an ATS, we’re going to provide 16 free ATS-friendly resume templates!

But first, let’s start with:

What’s an ATS-Friendly Resume Template?

Large companies usually get hundreds of resumes for each open position they announce. 

Now, imagine a hiring manager going through all of them one by one. It would take months to narrow them down for interviews, let alone figure out who to hire.

This is where Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) come into play. An ATS is a type of software that collects, scans, and ranks resumes based on how closely they match a set of criteria and keywords. 

And here’s the thing: applicant tracking systems are a lot more common than you’d think. In fact, about 75% of applications to big companies are rejected by ATS.

That’s a lot, right? So how do you make sure your resume makes it past an ATS?

It’s actually all very simple, as long as you:

  1. Use an ATS-friendly resume template. Some resume templates you find on the web just aren’t readable by an ATS. So, to make sure that you’re not sabotaging your job search, use one of the templates we mention below.
  2. Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for. We’ll teach you how to do this a bit down.

So, first thing’s first. Here are some ATS-friendly resume templates for just about any field!

16 ATS-Friendly Resume and CV Templates

#1. Modern Resume Template

ats friendly resume templates

A template that fits all types of applicants, from zero to plenty of work experience. It’s a safe template choice for more conservative industries such as banking or law. 

#2. College Resume Template

college ats resume template

Perfect for recent graduates, the College resume template highlights skills and education. 

#3. Professional Resume Template

professional ats resume template

This all-time favorite template is simple, yet eye-catching with its use of an accent color. It emphasizes your work experience and skills.

#4. Simple Resume Template

simple ats resume template

The Modern template features a faded geometric design in the background and bracket details to accent your professional experience similar to a timeline. 

#5. Creative Resume Template

creative ats resume template

The Creative template can be used in any industry. It has a bold color scheme, modern look, and punchy design aesthetic. 

#6. Basic Resume Template

basic ats resume template

The Basic template is the closest to the traditional resume look. A simple, safe choice for any applicant.

#7. Executive Resume Template

executive ats resume template

The Executive template is an upgraded version of the traditional, Basic resume template. It features some minimal details in the header and a bright accent color. 

#8. Functional Resume Template

functional ats resume template

The Functional Template is ideal for a no-work-experience resume. Its structure emphasizes your skills and education, instead of the usual work experience section. 

#9. Simple CV Template

simple ats cv template

The Simple CV template is ideal for applicants with extensive work experience, or those working in industries such as banking or law. 

#10. College CV Template

college ats cv template

If you’re a recent graduate or don’t have any experience in the field, this is the right template for your CV as it focuses on your education and skills. 

#11. Professional CV Template

professional ats cv template

This CV template is traditional in structure but features colors. 

#12. Modern CV Template

modern ats cv template

The Modern template adds a twist to the Professional one. A different layout added bracket details, and orange shades give it a new, fresh look. 

#13. Creative CV Template

creative ats cv template

If you’re applying for jobs in young companies or start-ups, this template is just right. The bold header makes a statement and will make your CV stand out from other applicants. 

#14. Basic CV Template

basic ats cv template

The Basic template is versatile and can be easily personalized to fit different industries. The simple design allows for the content of the resume to be the center of attention. 

#15. Executive CV Template

executive ats cv template

For applicants with more than 5 years of work experience, the Executive CV template could be the right choice. The template focuses on the work experience and skills of the applicant and uses a neutral, professional color palette.

#16. Functional CV Template

functional ats cv template

How to Tailor Your ATS-Friendly Resume To a Job

As we mentioned above, having an ATS-friendly template is the first step to a successful application. It is not, however, the only one. 

After the ATS has successfully scanned your resume, it will search for matching keywords and produce a percentage rating. That number determines how well you fit the hiring manager’s criteria - the higher it is, the more likely a recruiter will read your resume. 

This means you should pay very close attention to the words you use. 

The easiest way to achieve that is by using the exact words from the job posting. 

Let’s say you’re applying for a data analyst position. 

The following requirements are stated on the job posting:

  • 3+ years of experience working in SQL, Python, or R
  • Office tools knowledge (advanced MS Excel like Macros, Pivot tables, Vlookup, Index..)
  • Knowledge of data modeling techniques and tools
  • High analytical, technical, and problem resolution capability

Then, you should mention the following keywords and skills in your resume:

  • SQL
  • Python
  • R
  • Analytical skills
  • Problem-solving, etc.

The more matching words the better. 

Following this strategy will very likely get your resume past an ATS, but remember that a human will be reading it after that, so don't just stuff your resume with random keywords!

Key Takeaways

And that’s a wrap!

We’ve taught you all there is to know about ATS-friendly templates and how to tailor yours. 

Let’s revise the main points one last time:

  • An ATS-friendly resume template is a template that is recognized by applicant tracking systems worldwide.
  • Using an online resume builder like Novorésumé gives you plenty of pre-formatted template choices, all recognized by ATS.
  • Search the job ad for keywords to mention in your resume. 

As long as you keep these tips in mind, there is no way your resume isn’t making it into the hands of the recruiter.