ATS-friendly professional ‘Highlight’ CV template in MS Word

The vast majority of ATS-friendly CVs you'll find today have very little in the way of design flair. Through some clever Microsoft Word tricks, this CV template changes all that. It has a fantastic range of style details including icons, but it doesn't use any graphics or fancy formatting that might interfere with ATS software.

CV template details:

  • CV ref: #201
  • File size: 21kb
  • File format: .docx (MS Word)
  • File name: ATS-friendly-highlight-CV.docx
  • Fonts required: Open Sans font family and Social media circled (both free, links below)
  • Price: Free download
  • ATS-friendly professional 'Highlight' CV template in MS Word Overall rating: 5 out of 5 based on 5 reviews.

About this CV template:

This CV template uses various clever techniques to create design elements that should not interfere with it being read by a machine. Despite its appearance, there's not a single table, text box or dividing line here - all the elements are simply paragraph styling. Even the social icons used in the footer are not graphics - they are simply a font and should therefore be harmlessly read as letters. Overall this stunning template makes a fantastic impression without compromising on design.

Click here to view a preview of this CV template (PDF)

Click here for our CV editing guide

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Latest reviews:

★★★★★
5 5 1
This is a phenomenally beautiful CV template - having opened it up and looked at the design I can see now why you have marked it as ATS-friendly, there's really nothing to it but it looks absolutely fantastic. Great work guys!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Wow - absolutely brilliant design. I don't need my CV to be ATS compatible but I want this one anyway, it looks so fresh and clean.

★★★★★
5 5 1
What an absolutely brilliant CV template - I am so grateful to you guys for your work.

This is a highly attractive CV template with some superb styling details applied at paragraph and font level. This CV template has been designed to maximise the likelihood that a machine will parse the template without issues.

Here’s page two of this super free CV template:

ATS friendly highlight CV template - second page

For this CV template you’ll need:

  • Open Sans font family: https://fonts.google.com/specimen/Open+Sans
  • Social media circled: https://www.dafont.com/social-media-circled.font

What is ATS software?

ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System. It is a piece of software used by large companies (such as Fortune 500) to automatically ‘read’ large quantities of CVs. When a company as large as Google advertise for a job, they will of course receive too many applications to read them all. This is why the use of an ATS has become more popular in recent years, due to its ability to filter the candidates.

The ATS will make judgements as to an applicants suitability for a particular position. However, it is well known that ATS software can occasionally overlook good candidates. This is simply because the software is unable to properly parse the CV and determine the applicant’s suitability 100% of the time.

We design our ATS-friendly CV templates with a view to maximising the ability for the software to parse the CV. In addition, you should provide the CV in a readable format (doc/docx) and ensure you have properly implemented the correct keywords and information required from the job specification (see our guides below).

Disclaimer: There are many different types of ATS software on the market. Like every other provider of ATS-friendly templates, we cannot guarantee that every single system will be able to read our templates without issue. However, our ATS-friendly templates follow the principles of ATS-friendly design. Such as, not including graphics, tables, columns, or text boxes. Essentially, any elements that may make it difficult for the system to understand.

How to pass through ATS

One of the most important aspects to consider when trying to pass through ATS is keywords. Study the job advert closely to see what keywords have been used, and try and match those on your CV.

The tracking system will have been programmed with a certain set of parameters to help filter through the right applications. Your goal is to match the keywords and phrases to ensure it passes safely through.

For more information on ATS software, see our guides:

About Jen Wiss-Carline

Jen Wiss-Carline has been a Senior Manager and Consultant for several sizeable companies which included dealing with all aspects of staff management and recruitment. She is also a Chartered Legal Executive, and was admitted as a Fellow in February 2006.

Jen's qualifications include:
LL.B (Hons) (1st)
Chartered Legal Executive (FCILEx)
PG Cert Bus Admin
PgDip Law (LPC)
LL.M (Master of Laws) (Distinction)

4 thoughts on “ATS-friendly professional ‘Highlight’ CV template in MS Word”

    • Hi Simon – we simply don’t use any of the elements that are thought to upset ATS software. The design elements are achieved through paragraph styling and (in the case of the social media icons), fonts – rather than graphics/images. This ensures the CV is all ‘text’ so the system shouldn’t have any issue with scanning it if our other advice is followed (such as sending in .doc / .docx format). Please be aware that there are lots of different systems so like every other site, we cannot absolutely guarantee the template will pass through every one, but nobody can guarantee that.

    • Not yet fortunately – it’s just the large companies using it right now. If you want to send a more creative CV, you can always call up the HR department to check if ATS is used to be safe.

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