[credit provider=”Uriel Sinai / Getty”]
If you blindly apply for a job online, there’s a good chance no one is going to look at your resume, at least during the first round.Most big companies sort resumes using a tracking system that scans resumes for keywords and then forwards on “qualified” candidates to the company’s HR team. In a market where you’ve got hundreds, and even thousands, of applicants for a single job, it’s the most efficient use of a company’s time.
Lauren Weber at the Wall Street Journal reported on this trend by speaking with some HR folks, and here are some of the interesting takeaways from her piece:
- 50% of job applicants aren’t qualified for the jobs they’re applying to, say most recruiters
- Scanning systems cost anywhere from $5,000 to several millions of dollars
- About 90% of big companies use these, and likely every Fortune 500, according to an IBM executive
- 19% of hiring managers at small companies look at a majority of applications; 47% look at just a few
Weber also reported that during the recession many companies cut HR jobs, and have since replaced some of their recruiting work with these machines, which “scan for keywords, former employers, years of experience and schools attended to identify candidates of likely interest. Then, they rank the applicants. Those with low scores generally don’t make it to the next round.”
If you’re going to apply online, use keywords from the job description and the company’s website, and keep your resume simple so it doesn’t confuse the system. Interestingly, this goes against LinkedIn’s advice to avoid certain overused keywords in your resume.
Although there are downsides to the way companies are hiring today — people getting lost in the shuffle — the plus side is that it’s never been easier to figure out how to reach someone within an organisation. Nothing beats a referral, no matter how weak the connection.
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