In today’s automated and often impersonal job selection process, one of the biggest challenges job seekers face is getting past the computer candidate selection process. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are often used by employers to filter through a large pool of applicants for each job posting. These systems use algorithms to identify candidates based on specific criteria such as skills, experience, and education. However, job seekers can take steps to beat the computer candidate selection process and increase their chances of getting hired, or at least getting shortlisted for an interview.
To beat the computer candidate selection process, it is important to first understand how ATS works. According to a study by Jobscan, a company that provides résumé optimisation tools, 98% of the top 500 companies use ATS to manage their recruiting process (Crawford, 2022). When a job seeker submits their résumé online, the ATS software scans the document for relevant keywords and phrases that match the job requirements. The system then assigns a score based on the number of matches, and the résumés with the highest scores are forwarded to the hiring manager for further review.
To increase your chances of getting past the computer candidate selection process, it is important to optimise your résumé for ATS. This can be done by including relevant keywords and phrases that match the job requirements. One way to identify these keywords is by carefully reading the job description and highlighting the most important qualifications and skills. Incorporate these keywords throughout your résumé, especially in the summary, experience, and skills sections. However, be careful not to overuse keywords as this can lead to your résumé being rejected by the system.
In addition to keywords, the formatting of your résumé is also important when it comes to beating the computer candidate selection process. Many ATS systems cannot read resumes with complex formatting, so it is important to keep your résumé simple and easy to read.
While optimising your résumé for ATS is important, it is not enough to guarantee success. Job seekers can also take other steps to increase their chances of getting hired. One strategy is to network and build relationships with people in your industry. This can help you get referrals and recommendations, which can increase your chances of getting noticed by a hiring manager. Attend industry events, join professional organisations, and connect with people on social media to build your network.
Another strategy is to apply for jobs as soon as they are posted. Many companies receive hundreds of applications for each job posting, so it is important to apply early to increase your chances of getting noticed. Set up job alerts on job search websites and check them regularly to stay on top of new job postings.
Targeting smaller companies can also increase your chances of getting hired. Smaller companies may not receive as many applications as larger companies, making it easier for your résumé to get noticed. Additionally, smaller companies may be more willing to take a chance on a candidate with less experience or a non-traditional background.
Having a professionally prepared résumé that provides appropriate focus on your skills and attributes is an essential strategy for beating the computer candidate selection process. While it may be time-consuming and/or require a small investment, ensuring your résumés presents key relevant information together with appropriate keywords and phrases unique to your experience will help ensure your career presentation is seen by the right people.
If you are successful in getting past the computer candidate selection process, the next step is preparing for the interview. Research the company and the job to get a better understanding of what the employer is looking for. This can help you tailor your responses during the interview and demonstrate your knowledge and interest in the company.
Anticipating common interview questions is another important step in preparing for the interview. Research common interview questions for the job you are applying for and practice your responses. This can help you feel more confident and prepared during the interview.
Finally, practicing your responses with a friend or family member can help you refine your answers and prepare for the interview. Ask for feedback on your responses and make adjustments as needed.
Navigating the job search landscape can be challenging, but by understanding and beating the computer candidate selection process, job seekers can increase their chances of getting hired. While the job search process can be frustrating, perseverance and continued effort will lead to success.
Reference: Crawford, E. (2022). 9 Applicant Tracking System Statistics You Need to Know in 2022. Jobscan.