To apply for a job? Break Through AI Filters – Business Journal Daily
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Online job recruiting is here to stay. However, this could inadvertently leave some qualified applicants out in the cold.
Using the Internet to search for a job was a trend long before the pandemic. The last two years, however, have accelerated the transition. The Society for Human Resource Management, or SHRM, reports that 70% of respondents to a recent LinkedIn survey of talent acquisition professionals say a combination of virtual and in-person processes “will become more standard due to savings in time and associated costs”.
But as more and more employers regularly post job openings on online job search websites, job seekers might face some unseen challenges in getting their foot in the door. Enter Applicant Tracking Systems.
Applicant tracking systems are software tools that allow employers and recruiters to track applicants through the hiring process. They also use artificial intelligence to make the selection process more efficient for employers.
In its study “Hidden Workers: Untapped Talent,” Harvard Business School reports that these systems work by identifying a limited number of applicants who best match specified job criteria, such as possessing a degree or specific academic degree, or that have included particular keywords. in their resumes.
In its study, the business school found that even medium-sized companies that employ 50 to 999 people use this type of technology. While this can streamline the hiring process, it can also leave worthy candidates on the cutting room floor.
So-called “negative” criteria may be grounds for filtering certain candidates. These attributes may include a criminal conviction or a work stint of six months or more, according to the study. Nearly half of companies surveyed by Harvard Business School said they screened resumes listing such an employment gap.
“Our research indicated that employers believe applicants with more recent experience are more likely to have better job skills,” the study said. “A recruiter will never see this candidate’s application, even if it may meet all of the employer’s requirements.”
Most large corporations and Fortune 500 companies use AI filters, as do online job search websites, such as Indeed and Glassdoor. OhioMeansJobs.com uses an optional screening questionnaire, which allows employers to create a questionnaire that selects candidates for consideration. It includes an optional ranking system ranging from “rejected” to “best”.
But use of the screening questionnaire among employers has seen a “significant decline” since March 2021, according to a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Employment and Family Services.
For sites that run all resumes through applicant tracking systems, this is a game-changer in resume writing, says Steve Kristan, Broadband Coordinator, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments.
College graduates from 10 or 20 years ago might remember the importance of choosing a good paper for a resume, using a bold and eye-catching font, or including a portrait in the resume. Today, it’s all about making sure your digital resume goes through this gatekeeper of the Applicant Tracking System.
“Before, we were trying to be more sizzling,” Kristan explains. “Now we are more simplicity and accomplishment.”
Passing an applicant tracking system successfully starts with including keywords from the employer’s job posting, Kristan explains. For example, if a job ad says the company is looking for a “domestic engineer,” that’s the term to include on the resume, as opposed to housekeeper, he says.
From there, be sure to include all skills relevant to a position, including soft skills such as teamwork and hard skills, such as proficiency in Microsoft Excel. Also, be sure to include technical skills, such as “spread principals” when pursuing an accounting job.
“Whatever the ad says they’re looking for, make sure you have it on your resume,” Kristan says.
The systems are more noun-friendly than verb-friendly, he says, “which is kind of the opposite of what it was before.” For example, if an advertisement indicates that it is looking for an Excel teacher, the candidates can be filtered by writing “I have taught courses on Excel”.
Other things to include are achievements, certifications, or online courses taken related to the job posting — all of which could earn a candidate more points through an applicant tracking system.
“A Harvard certificate can give you as much weight as a Harvard degree, as silly as that sounds,” says Kristan.
Many online job applications will have options to attach a resume document file or fill in blocks with resume information. Kristan says applicants should always do both.
“You want to write a resume that’s really geared towards this ATS,” says Kristan. “At the same time, though, you have to make sure that if you move on to the next channel, you have something that’s appealing to the HR person.”
Attaching a resume package also gives the candidate the opportunity to exercise a bit of creativity, he says. He advises candidates to write resumes that are useful and informative for hiring managers. Rather than including a career goal at the top, state what you will do for the company, he says: “Nowadays it’s more about personal branding than a career goal. says Kristan.
In its “Resume for the 21st Century” study, Drexel University claims that a “succinct yet powerful personal brand statement” can help a job seeker stand out. The report also suggests adding hyperlinks and clickable icons to its online portfolio and relevant social media pages.
Cover letters are usually optional with online job application systems, but not having one can end up hurting a job seeker, says Kristan.
“A lot of people don’t read the cover letter, but they still expect you to have one,” Kristan says. “If things get complicated in the decision-making, the employer can consult the cover letter to make a decision.”
It’s also useful for explaining things, like an employment gap, he says.
Other tips Kristan has for job seekers include adding his email address to the resume, but avoiding using “legacy” email providers, such as AOL.com. He advises instead to create a new Gmail account. Job seekers should also include mobile phone numbers on their CV instead of landlines and ensure that all social media platforms are updated and appropriate.
“They will research you,” he said. “So make sure it’s up to date.”
For local businesses that can’t afford to miss potential candidates, Julie Needs, executive director of the Sustainable Opportunity Development Center in Salem, recommends “going back to an old-fashioned way of throwing boots in the field” rather than to rely on technology. .
Needs encourages local employers and job seekers to attend in-person hiring events, such as the event hosted by the SOD Center in April, which it says attracted some 150 to 160 applicants and avoids the job altogether. AI screening. The center typically hosts two such events a year – one in the spring and another in the fall.
“If this need for employees continues at this rate, we might consider doing something in the summer instead of waiting for the fall,” says Needs.
Employers should also post job openings at local libraries and churches, or partner with workforce development agencies such as Chambers of Commerce and OhioMeansJobs, Needs says. Leveraging this local network ensures that community stakeholders will attract prospects to an employer, while mitigating the issues created by the digital divide.
“There is no wrong place to post a job at this stage and at this time due to the lack of available candidates,” she says.
She advises employers to post job vacancies on their own websites and platforms. When the SOD center listed openings for students to participate in its WorkAdvance program, it did so with its own site and social media.
“We used our website to direct people to us to submit an application directly to us,” says Needs. “So it didn’t get anyone out of the pool.”
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.