You might think that the resume you send to a company in relation to a job advertisement is going to be read by a person such as a Human Resource or Hiring Manager, sitting at a desk , reading your resume, then ringing you for an interview.
Unfortunately, these days nothing could be further from the truth.
For the past ten years, large companies have been using resume screening software, also known as "applicant tracking systems"¯, to weed out unsuitable candidates from the hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of applicants they get for every job they advertise "” and now even the smaller companies can afford this software.
It is estimated almost 90 per cent of large companies use this software which means more often than not, a computer is first in line to decide whether your resume goes through to a human or even if your information will make it onto the company`s database at all.
However, all is not lost. Knowing a few secrets can substantially improve your chances of getting your resume information through the maze of electronics, to the human who makes the final decision whether you get called in for an interview.
None of these tips is in any way guaranteed to cheat the system, just a way of making sure you are giving the computer EXACTLY what the software is looking for in relation to the job you believe you are applying for and are in your eyes, qualified for.
And remember, read the job requirements carefully and tailor each resume to the particular job (one size will definitely not fit all in today`s job market!).
Tips For Getting Noticed By The Computer
As a general rule, the screening software is only looking at text, so adding Graphics, Colours, Pictures etc, will only confuse the robot and won`t help at all. Keep things simple and streamlined.
When writing in past positions for instance, putting the dates you worked there plus the company, plus the position you held all on one line might confuse the software. Better to put them on separate lines (bullet points are better than paragraphs). When writing phone numbers, don`t put spaces between numbers and don`t use fancy characters as separators.
A computer thinks LITERALLY, so when constructing a resume and the job description calls for experience in Work Health & Safety, don`t list it as OHS, make sure you use the correct term. As a matter of fact, using the words spelled out AND abbreviated in brackets straight after it (WH&S) will ensure the software will pick up one or the other.
The most important tip is to use keywords from the job description or advert.
In the past, people tried to exploit the system by overloading their resume with keywords, trying to get a higher ranking in the eyes of the applicant tracking system. The software these days is sophisticated enough to see through this 'keyword stuffing' and if your resume does get through to a human, they won`t be impressed by the obvious flouting of the system and it will end up in the bin.
So the trick is to use plenty of the relevant keywords, but only in the correct context of your properly written resume "”even related terms are picked up by the latest software (e.g. as well as Dump Truck, the system might also pick up haul truck, machinery operator, heavy machinery, etc).
A good way to siphon out the keywords from a job ad is to copy and paste the text from the ad into a program such as "www.wordle.net"¯ or "tagcrowd.com"¯. They will generate a "cloud"¯ of keywords, the most important of which will be the largest or boldest in the cloud. Use as many of these that you can (that apply to you).
A word of warning "”be honest! It`s no use creating a resume with great keywords if you can`t back them up in reality. You will waste everybody`s time, as anything you haven`t earned the right to list in your resume will soon be found out at the interview.
While this information can help give you an edge, motivated job seekers will not only rely on a great resume to land that job, they will also use a multi-pronged job-search plan which includes direct applications, networking, cold-calling and relationship building.
Where can you get a professional resume created?
iMINCO works with mining and construction training organisation Industry Pathways who specialise in the preparation of high quality resumes for the mining, construction and oil and gas industries.
With a strong focus on your skills, qualifications and work experience, the resumes they create will better your chances of getting an interview.
Their industry specific resumes have proven particularly successful for people who are looking to enter the mining industry and are applying for entry-level mining jobs.
Well-written resumes get interviews
A well-written resume is usually the only way you can get yourself an interview with a mining company or recruitment agency. It doesn`t matter whether you`re applying for a job in mining, oil and gas, civil or any other industry, your resume has to do the bulk of the work for you and persuade the reader to short-list you for an interview.
When you own a resume that looks professional and has been set up with the correct keywords to get the green light from automated resume scanning devices, you`ll have the upper hand and confidence you need to send your resume to any employer in the mining and energy sector.
At the end of the day, be proactive and go out in search of your future.
There are plenty of jobs out there, your resume is crucial - make it count.