Don’t Let a ROBOT Reject Your JOB APPLICATION
A few steps can be followed:
If you have applied for a job recently, you might be aware that, most of the time, the initial screening of the job application is automated (done by a computer system — which in this case is referred to as a ‘robot’).
While laws such as GDPR try to limit companies from completely automating the decision-making process and give citizens the rights to request feedback from an actual human (not just a computer system), it is useful to make sure that your job application is both HUMAN (recruiter) and ROBOT (computer system) friendly.
To make sure that your application [Résumé/Curriculum Vitae (CV)] is up to the required standard to pass the screening done by a recruiter or a computer system, a few steps can be followed:
It is important to focus on the language of your CV (i.e. spelling and grammar). You should spend enough time reviewing your application to make sure that it contains no mistakes (this means ZERO mistakes) since mistakes (especially with spelling and grammar) can affect you greatly (negatively).
This might be obvious and therefore is overlooked a lot of the time, but you need to spend time making sure your application is as perfect as can be.
On the topic of language, start each sentence with an active verb (a list for which can be found here) to make your application more professional.
Using an active verb will emphasise the task/project you have done which will have an overall positive effect. That said, make sure that the sentence still makes sense.
In addition to starting sentences with adverbs, adding proof will increase the legitimacy of your claims. Instead of saying “Improved the Quality Assurance process at the Company by creating Automated Tests”, you could say “Improved the Quality Assurance process at the Company by creating Automated Tests which saved them £500 every month”.
This adds legitimacy to your claim in addition to giving the recruiter measurable results (£500 every month).
Every job description will have specific keywords that the company would have used to describe the ‘role’ and the ‘requirements’. It is a good idea to understand the most important keywords (likely the ones that have been repeated throughout the job description) and use them in the job application as well.
(For example: if a job advert is asking for experience in a particular programming language, mention a project you have done using this language. Similarly, if a company is aking for team working skills, explain a time where you demonstrated this).
This will ensure that you get past the first screening stage done by a computer system since the system is looking for how much of the job application matches with the job description.
Even if this screening stage was to be done by a human recruiter, seeing important keywords on your application would make them aware that you indeed do have the skills that they are looking for.
Design and Structure
Your job application should be well designed and structured — with all relevant information arranged in an appropriate manner.
The application should be organised in a way that anyone looking at it is able to quickly find everything they are looking for. Making key phrases/sentences bold could help highlight them as well.
Focus on the overall structure of the application as well — including different sections such as ‘Education’, ‘Work Experience’ and ‘Project Work’.
Depending on the number of years of experience you have, you can decide the order of the sections. (0–3 Years of ‘Work Experience’: ‘Education’ and then ‘Work Experience’; More than 3 Years of ‘Work Experience’: ‘Education’ can go after ‘Work Experience’.)
It is important to make sure that your ‘skills’, ‘experiences’ and ‘level of expertise’ becomes clear to the recruiter simply by glancing at the application.
While adding more and more experiences onto the application is usually advantages, adding too much information could make the application harder to read.
Due to this, including only relevant information (that is important) could make your application easier to read, and thus, stand out.
Attention to Detail
Attention to detail is key when it comes to job application, and you can never spend too much time going over the application again and again. By YOU putting in the effort and making sure that the application is the best it can be, you are only making the job of the hiring party (whether it is a computer system or a recruiter) which in turn is going to benefit YOU.