Get past HR machines and look good after being parsed
October 21, 2019
by Ed Windgate

You’ve worked hard to build a successful career. You present yourself professionally during interviews. You have a resume that is just as impressive. You know you are a great match for the job.

Then why didn’t you get the interview?

Its often assumed that when you submit your resume, it is read by a real person. This is not the case. Most jobs generate between 200 to 500 resume submittals a week. Some jobs even get up to 25,000! HR software is used to screen and read your resume. But not very well. Yes, a human never actually sees your resume.

Get past HR machines and look good after being parsed

These HR systems don’t read your resume the way you assume. They only look for keywords that a recruiter (who might not understand the job completely) found in the job description. Or, in some cases, keywords the hiring team supplies.

HR systems are designed to send out automatic rejection letters a few days after you submitted your resume, to give the allusion a real person read your resume. They didn’t. The system simply looked for a few chosen keywords. If your resume does not contain those exact words, it is rejected immediately by the system.

A funny story. A CEO of a well-known company was concerned about the lack of qualified people being submitted to his hiring team managers. The HR department said there just wasn’t enough qualified people applying. So, this CEO submitted his resume (with a different name) to a job at his company he thought he was a great match. Well, he got a rejection letter a few days later.

The question is, what keywords should you have on your resume? Don’t assume that the language you used in your last job is what they will use in your new job. They might use different words to express the same skill or concept.

You need to know what keywords, what language they use in their job description

By customizing your resume for each job, you have a much better chance of getting past the HR machines, and into the hands of a real person. In this case, a recruiter.

After your resume has made it past the machines, a recruiter will then review your resume. Most likely the recruiter has talked to the hiring manager about this new job or at least has read the job description. The recruiters will read through your resume, to find keywords and language used by the hiring team.

You have 6 seconds to impress a recruiter. Yes, on average, that’s how much time a recruiter spends reading your resume. They actively look for ways to exclude you. Misspellings, the wrong keywords, etc.

Here’s the trick. In addition to including the keywords that interest them, like “communication”, “accounting”, etc. You need to speak their language. For example, you might say “create” they say “design”. This way, your resume is more readable, comfortable, and familiar to a recruiter, and the hiring team.

Why is this important?

Let’s go back to the beginning. When you submit your resume, it is parsed. Yes, cut up into the sections that the software thinks are important. It is very common for parts of a resume to be left on the parsing floor, and not included in a resume the HR system will use, or the recruiter will see. Why? Because you had the wrong keywords.

This is also why resumes you submit electronically (email, website, etc.) should have a simple format, so the machines are able to read it. Your resume file will be converted from a Word or PDF file to text. Some text might be lost in just the conversion if there is complex formatting.

Once you are talking to a recruiter, you could send them your well designed, eye-catching resume to be passed on to the hiring team.

By including keywords and language that is as close to the job description as possible, you have a much better chance of having your resume parsed correctly, get noticed by a recruiter, and then finally presented to the hiring team.

This sounds like a lot of work to figure out. Yes, it is. This is why is here to help. If you have not signed up already, try it out!

Find the keywords, concepts, and language you need on your resume to get past the HR machines, and into the hands of the hiring team.

You deserve to get noticed!

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