Tips For Beating The Resume-Reading Robots Of Doom

Anyone who has applied for a job at a large company — especially one that doesn’t accept actual resumes but instead requires you to fill out a series of online forms — probably knows that their CV is being scanned, and maybe thrown in the trash, by some automated system meant to weed out those who obviously don’t fit the criteria. But there’s a chance you do fit the bill; you’re just not using the write words to describe your skills and experience.

Over at the Wall Street Journal, there’s a nice story about all these machines that decide your fate before a human ever has the chance to determine whether or not you’re qualified for a job.

But of more practical use to the job-seeker is a sidebar with tips on the best ways to avoid having your resume be sucked down into the virtual Sarlacc pit (or the Great Pit of Carkoon if you’re going to pick nits).

Here are some highlights:
* According to the WSJ, rather than showing your way with words and your love of free verse, “mimic the keywords in the job description as closely as possible.”

* Visit the company’s website to immerse yourself in its culture, taking special note of the words they use to details their key values. “The company may have programmed related keywords into its resume screening software,” writes the Journal.

* Don’t lie about your education, but if you’ve taken even a continuing-ed class at a top-tier school, include it on your resume, as the software may be programmed to give you a higher score merely for having that institution’s name on your CV.

Your Résumé vs. Oblivion [WSJ.com]