For more and more companies, the way to apply for a job is to use their online recruitment software portal. It can seem easy enough. You just fill out an online application form, attach your CV and perhaps a cover letter, and click the Apply button.
But as with most things in life, it’s not really that simple…
Recruitment Software Weeds Unqualified
You see, the online talent acquisition or recruitment software that’s behind that portal is designed to make life easier for the company’s recruiters and hiring managers. One of its primary functions is to weed out unqualified candidates. This greatly reduces the number of CVs or resumes the recruiter or hiring manager has to review or read, and speeds up the hiring process. So,the challenge is to make sure your CV isn’t one of those that gets weeded out.
[ALSO READ: How Applicant Tracking System Works]
Now I’m sure you’ve been told that it’s important to customize your CV for the job and company you’re applying to. And while it’s important to do that to demonstrate how you are a good fit for the role and company, it’s now most important to do that to get through the applicant tracking system filters, so someone other than a software application sees your resume. You see, talent acquisition software filters resumes largely by searching for keywords, so to get noticed, you need to make sure your CV and cover letter include the keywords and phrases the software is looking for.
Tips To Get Noticed By Recruitment Software
Here are some practical tips on how to customize your CV so it gets noticed by recruitment software:
- Start by carefully reading the job posting. Make note of the specific words and phrases it uses to describe the qualifications and experience required, as well as the wording used to describe the duties and responsibilities for the job.
- Now peruse the company’s website, and again, pay attention to the common words that appear or are used to describe their products and services.
- Then, customize your CV and cover letter so they use those same keywords and phrases. The more carefully you can match the wording used in the requisition, the better your chances of making it through the filter.
Now I’m not suggesting that you lie or include misleading information on your CV. The goal here is to get past the initial screening for a job that you are actually qualified for. And one of the best ways to do that is to express your qualifications and experience using the same language and terminology the employer does. So, for example, if the requisition requires someone who is “proficient in English and French” use those words instead of “fluently bilingual”.
General Tips To Work With Recruitment Software
Keep the format of your CV clean and simple. Complex formatting like backgrounds, shading or borders can get distorted when uploaded.
Make sure the format you use is compatible with the online application. They’ll usually specify the formats they prefer (e.g. MSWord, PDF)
You want to make it as easy as possible for a software programme to scan your CV and cover letter for the data it’s looking for.
Sean Conrad is a senior product analyst and Certified Human Capital Strategist Specialist at Halogen Software, where he blogs about things like management, recruitment and other talent management best practices.
Image Credit: Flickr – MindtoEye