Automated Resume Screening


You've written your resume; answered all the questions on the potential employer's website; have a great feeling of accomplishment after submitting all of the required information; and now you're patiently waiting for that email or phone call from an internal recruiter or hiring manager. 

At this point, what happens to the resume or CV that you worked so hard on once it is submitted into the void of a company’s HR application system?

There is an increased level of regulation on data today.  Many public corporations have very strict protocols for employment screening. Often these processes are automated through software and have many job seekers in a state of confusion when writing a resume. 

To stand out from the crowd, you should make your accomplishments unique, valuable and strategic as well as personal and genuine. Due to the initial resume screening process, many limit their experiences down to broad descriptions and pack them full of the most common industry jargon.

Similar job descriptions used to exist at competing companies.  With the refinement of corporate cultures to attract fresh thinking recruiting departments across all industries, job listings are being eliminated for obscure, unoriginal departments, roles and titles. Job titles have been revised and are now more modern.  Functions and roles have morphed into hybrid descriptions that contain fewer tasks and more outcomes.

Since hiring managers are becoming more creative, you should do the same. Outcome based job descriptions give applicants the ability to let their unique brand of genius come through and still meet and successfully pass the initial screening process.

Stages of corporate recruitment vary, but generally the first resume hurdle is based on a high level search for selected category and keyword qualifications that match the specific job listing. It's possible you’ve heard this before, but your online resume needs to be tailored for the job you want.

Matching to categories - as companies are looking for specialists, not generalists, identifying a category match is a critical first step.  To do this, create a separate section in the top 1/3 of your online resume that captures the relevant category expertise.

Generic category descriptions: Management, Operations, Communications, Marketing

Specific, relevant category descriptions: Client Relationship Management, Revenue Growth, Risk Management, Negotiation, CRM Program Development

Match resume keywords - After tackling the section on category expertise, you must now prove you have this experience with brief examples utilizing relevant keywords. Your examples must demonstrate the category expertise you’ve highlighted and focus on the priority keywords within the job description.

Keyword matching not only demonstrates that you understand the job requirements, but shows that you “speak their language”. Not all keywords are created equal, since exact matches will likely rank higher.  As with a search you would do using Google, Bing, or Yahookeywords are weighted in terms of relevance and the respective result will put the most relevant information first in the employer's search or query. You obviously want your resume to be in the top results of the search on that position.  

To achieve this, thoroughly review the job description to build a list of priority and secondary words to include.

Priority resume keywords are words used in the company’s listed job title; used in the detailed description; words used more than twice; or highlighted criteria for success.  Secondary resume keywords are those mentioned by competitor companies or brand name experience; keyword phrases that surround priority keywords; or notable industry qualifications such as specific training or associations.

Required or mandatory items - in the job description, are the easy to address, pass or fail requirements such as: minimum education, years experience, technical proficiency, geography (depending on whether or not relocation is an option), and any necessary language/s. Make a comprehensive list of these requirements and verify that you’ve addressed them in your resume.

If all of these guidelines are incorporated into your resume before it is submitted electronically, the chances of you making that critical 1st cut are greatly improved!



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