Quite often in writing the perfect CV, a candidate will ask a thousand and one questions (quite rightly) but omits to ask the VERY first question: who is the recipient? Who will I send my CV to? Who will sort it? And no, it will be neither a recruiter nor an HR consultant, but a robot. Yes, you read correctly! So there you had a nice challenge to overcome which, rest assured, is much more difficult on paper than in reality. A few tips to get through the mesh of the digital net.
Robots: why, how?
Whether you apply to a large company, a recruitment firm, a SME or a job site… it’s a good bet that your CV will first by read by an ATS (Applicant Tracking System). Indeed, a study revealed that in the United States, 95% of large companies and 50% of SMEs use automated recruitment assistance software to lend a hand for the first step of selection, often long and tedious. So it will be algorithms that will sort and classify applications – read the next paragraph carefully if you want to be part of it! – in recruiter’s CV pools. These programs seem to be very reliable, since they are set up to select CVs that have the keywords expected by the recruiter, and are able to read 75% of CVs.
A coded CV rather than persuasive
To avoid being in the 25% of CVs that cannot be deciphered, simplify the form so the ATS is not disturbed: goodbye to coloured backgrounds, bullet points, charts, tables and pictograms. Rather have dashes and asterisks as well as pdf or jpeg format. In addition, always keep in mind that the ATS is programmed to find keywords, dates and skills in your CV or in the application form that you fill out on the internet. So identify in the job offer all the skills sought and write them, at least once, in the various sections of your resume. Bad luck for you! Now you need to write a CV for each job offer that you are interested in. But if you adapt to these new requirements, you are sure to maximize your chances of being selected by the robot.
The weaknesses and shortcomings of the robot
These super robots focus on skills, training, experience – at the risk of selecting 30 clones of you – and will not spot items in the CV that highlight your personality, originality… Forget leisure activities, centres of interest, sports. It will be important to mention everything that can set out a competitor in the cover letter or during the interview. But for the moment, only count on the CV. So if you think everything is fine in this first step, benefit from a flaw in the system and read on… otherwise, refrain. Write, in white on a white background, as many skills sought for the job as possible – the robot will satisfied with all these keywords, which will be invisible to the recruiter.
From now on, you will have to adapt each of your CVs to the pure skills sought by the HR managers to pass the robot’s first barricade. And then, you will finally have the interview with real live people with whom you can express your full personality and originality.. unless this second selection phase, more human, is also monopolized by so-called participatory recruitment software, currently being developed in the US.