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Can ATS Detect AI in Resumes? What Job Seekers Should Know About AI Resume Writing


Can ATS Detect AI in Resumes? What Job Seekers Should Know About AI Resume Writing

Leveraging AI tools to craft your resume can seem like a smart move. However, understanding how Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) interact with AI-generated content is crucial for job seekers aiming to make their applications stand out. This article examines whether ATS can detect AI in resumes and offers insights on optimizing your resume for these systems.

Understanding ATS

ATS are designed to streamline the recruitment process by scanning resumes for specific keywords and formatting criteria. These systems rank candidates based on how well their resumes match the job requirements. ATS software is sophisticated and uses algorithms to filter out applicants who don’t meet the specific criteria set by the employer. 

However, ATS have limitations. They might miss the nuances of your experience or the unique qualities that make you, well, you. This makes it essential to ensure your resume stands out both to ATS and human recruiters. AI can absolutely help with this—but not without human intervention.

Can ATS Detect AI-Generated Resumes?

While ATS focus on identifying keywords and formatting, they are not specifically designed to detect AI-generated content. However, AI-generated resumes, if not carefully tailored, can come off as generic. This can increase the likelihood that the ATS will overlook what makes you special and rank you negatively as a candidate.


For example, an AI tool might generate a resume with broad phrases like “managed projects” without specifying what kind of projects, the scope, or the outcomes, making it less impactful.


To avoid these problems, use AI tools as a starting point and then manually refine your resume. This way, you combine the efficiency of AI with the personal touch needed to impress both ATS and human recruiters.


Tips for Creating an ATS-Optimized Resume

  1. Use relevant keywords: Tailor your resume with keywords from the job description. ATS look for specific terms that match the employer’s requirements. For example, if a job posting mentions “project management” and “budget oversight,” ensure these exact phrases appear in your resume.
  2. Use proper formatting: Use standard resume formats. Avoid complex designs or unusual fonts that ATS might struggle to read. Stick to common fonts like Arial or Times New Roman, and use bullet points for easy readability.
  3. Be concise and be specific: Clearly outline your skills, experiences, and achievements. Avoid fluff and ensure that every section adds value. Instead of saying “responsible for improving efficiency,” say “implemented a new scheduling system that improved team efficiency by 20%.”
  4. Edit manually: Even if you use AI tools, manually review and edit your resume to ensure it reads naturally and highlights your unique qualifications. Look for opportunities to include specific accomplishments and metrics that demonstrate your impact.
  5. Test your resume: Use tools that can simulate an ATS scan to check how well your resume might perform. Lensa allows you to upload your resume and compare it against job descriptions to see how well it matches.

Balancing AI Magic and the Human Touch in Resume Writing

AI tools can significantly enhance your resume writing process by suggesting formats, identifying relevant keywords, and correcting grammatical errors. However, you still need to tailor your resume to highlight your achievements, specific project outcomes, and personal contributions that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. 


For instance, an AI might suggest including project management experience, but you should specify that you “led a cross-functional team to deliver a project 15% under budget and two weeks ahead of schedule.” This combination of AI efficiency and personal touch will help create a resume that stands out to recruiters.


Pro tip: Ask colleagues or mentors to review your resume and give feedback on how you can improve it. Peer reviews can provide valuable insights and catch errors you might have missed. By combining the efficiency of AI with your personal touch and expertise, you can create a resume that really stands out to recruiters.


What to Read Next

Need more guidance on crafting an ATS-friendly resume? Lensa Insights has you covered. Check out these resources:




While ATS are not currently focused on detecting AI-generated resumes, ensuring your resume meets ATS criteria is vital for job application success. Use AI tools wisely, but remember to inject your personal touch and verify that your resume effectively showcases your qualifications. Understanding the nuances of ATS and AI can enhance your chances of landing that dream job.

Looking to find your dream job? Let Lensa help.

Picture of Jessica Miley
Jessica Miley
Jess Miley is a freelance blogger and founder of Ways Art Residency. She is excited about the good, the bad and the ugly of AI and its effect on how we work. Ask her for a new podcast recommendation.

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