AI can screen your CV. Here’s how to get yours to the next level
Careers advice, CV

AI can screen your CV. Here’s how to get yours to the next level

Many companies are using technology to filter the resumes in order to quick the recruitment process. Technology, however, can sometimes be unreliable filtering out qualified candidates by mistake.

You’re actively looking for a new job. You’ve updated your CV and you’ve been applying for positions that catch your eye. But there’s nothing but radio silence from recruiters. What’s the deal?

Well it may be that a recruiter isn’t seeing your application at all. Instead, many companies are using technology to filter the resumes that make it to recruiters’ eyes. Some, like Pepsi and Ikea, have even outsourced the first step of their recruiting process to robots. The recruitment process is time-consuming and expensive, so AI helps speed it up at a lower price. How? Most companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), a software application that uses filtering technology to quickly process resumes and applicant information. The objective is to reduce the number of unsuitable candidates for a given position or opportunity and identify top talent.

However, ATS has a reputation for being unreliable. According to a CareerArc/Future Workplace survey, 62 percent of companies using applicant tracking systems admit “some qualified candidates are likely being automatically filtered out of the vetting process by mistake.” To make sure your resume isn’t one of those that go straight into the garbage, we’ve got three top tips on how to beat the system:

Keep your formatting simple

Before ATS, the trend was to highlight your creativity and to get your CV to stand out among the crowd, especially for those looking for creative roles. But unless you’re sending your resume directly to a human, it’s best to keep the formatting simple. Use web-standard that ATS can easily read. MIT says your safest bets are fonts like Aria, Helvetica, or Times New Roman. Keep your sections old school – Professional Experience; Education; Skills. Any other titles can throw off the system, sending your resume into the abyss.

Spell check, check and check again

This should go without saying but use spell check. Better yet, use spell check and get someone to give it a good copyedit. ATS will immediately toss your resume if there are any typos or misspellings, which causes the system to go into “does not compute” mode.  

Check your content

Look at the job description and adjust your resume to reflect the language in the job posting. This should already be a best practice, but with ATS, the stakes are even higher. The software will be looking for key phrases and contextual information related to the qualifications in the job description. The closer your resume is to the content in the job description, the closer you are to getting your resume to a human.