Employers are increasingly using the power of recruiting robots. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are a major factor job seekers face during the hiring process.
So what are these recruiting robots looking for on your resume?
Keywords are important, of course. However, the growth of Big Data allows greater sophistication in searches and informal background checks. After all, we all put more information about ourselves online. And today’s robots can easily connect the dots and spot common patterns. For example, advanced ATSs and AI can determine whether your LinkedIn profile and resume are in sync. When you fail that test, the ATS/AI eliminatew you from the competition.
Even the interviewing process, including phone screening and automated video interviewing of applications, has been affected by automation and AI. According to a new totaljobs survey conducted across 400 UK jobseekers:
- 53% of those surveyed had taken part in an automated telephone/video interview
- Of these, 47% were comfortable with the experience (35% were uncomfortable, while 18% were neither)
- 42% were invited to proceed to the next step
And yet, 67 percent of those surveyed weren’t aware that automation had been a factor in the interviewing process!
To help you take on the ATS/AI robots and win, here are five tips from journalist Pádraig Belton:
Keep Fonts Simple
Opt for a conservative sans serif font, like Verdana, Arial, Calibri or Tahoma. Fonts with serifs, like Times New Roman, work slightly less well with optical character recognition (OCR).
Do not format your resume with tables or MS Excel cells. Instead, stick with basic paragraphs and bulleted text, which ATS finds much easier to parse.
Keywords, Keywords and More Keywords
Optimize your resume for the job description, ensuring it features keywords relating to the job, career path and industry. When using common acronyms, use the written version as well.
Match Titles and Phrases
Take an in-depth look at the titles and department names used by the company. Then carefully match your top titles with theirs. Even a small discrepancy can throw off the ATS.
Prepare for the Automated Interview
If you find yourself being asked to record a phone or video interview, be prepared. For a phone interview, choose a distraction-free environment. For a video interview, pick a blank background with complimentary lighting. Two light sources in front, one behind works well.
Over the past decade or so, the message from the recruiting industry has become clear…
The ATS/AI recruiting robots are here to stay.
Take the next step in your career. Embrace the change. Understand how recruiting now works. Be savvy. Be consistent. And then win the resume challenge!
About the Author: David Shindler is the author of “Learning to Leap, a Guide to Being More Employable.” An experienced coach and people development expert, David specializes in developing and accelerating employability. He also runs the Employability Hub (a social learning community and resource center) and the Learning to Leap group on LinkedIn and Facebook fan page. Tweet David, or contact him via his website.