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The ATS (Applicant Tracking System) hates:

1. Profile pictures
2. Graphics
3. Symbols
4. Icons
5. ®️ (Prince2, Agile etc)
6. Italics
7. Horizontal lines
8. Vertical lines (except tiny dividers)
9. Mixed fonts
10. Multiple colours
11. Graphs
12. Tables
13. Font size SMALLER than 11 points
14. Hyperlinks (including links to email and LinkedIn)
15. Text boxes
16. Underlines
17. Dates older than 12 years if you are 38 years or older

- Tiny standard bullet points are fine
- ATS does not like ‘design’ 
- ATS likes simple and 'bland'

Remember to ‘sprinkle’ your CV/Resume with the relevant keywords from the entire job description, for EACH job you apply for. This will help push your CV through the ATS!


Kirsty Bonner was a highly regarded professional on LinkedIn who passed away on 28 August, 2020.

With a following of over 2.3m people, she posted honest, direct, actionable advice to help job seekers, using her advanced knowledge of psychology, enhanced by 20 years’ in finance and a passion for helping others.

This is her checklist to make a CV totally ATS 'proof'.
She became so inundated with requests for these bullet points, I built her a template to past onto people.

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