Résumé Experts Weigh in on WSJ Article “Your Résumé vs. Oblivion”
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal “Your Résumé vs. Oblivion” and an NPR segment (both links are here: WSJ and NPR) outlined the challenges facing job seekers when applying to companies. We are very happy to see Professional Résumé Writers and industry experts agree that these articles do not provide enough information to help job seekers improve their job search efforts. In a great article by Brenda Bernstein, TheEssayExpert, she outlines the basic gaps these articles fail to address. I am not a recommending her article because she mentions Preptel. Instead, I am recommending her article because she highlights, in a very simple example, the misconception that a few industry keywords are going to leap a candidate’s résumé from the bottom to the top of the applicant list. As she correctly points out, keywords are the key to getting your résumé noticed; however, reading a job description and identifying the keywords is not a successful approach. I have copied part of her article below, but please read the full version here.
WSJ and NPR Miss the Mark on Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
by Brenda Bernstein, TheEssayExpert
“Résumé Oblivion” has been a hot topic in the news. The Wall Street Journal published an article, Your Résumé vs. Oblivion, reporting that the percentage of large companies using computerized Applicant Tracking Systems to screen candidates is in the high 90%; almost all Fortune 500 companies rely on these programs.
The article offers advice, which I recommend reading, on “How to Beat the ‘Black Hole.’” However, the advice is not comprehensive. The first item, for instance, instructs job seekers to “mimic the keywords in the job description as closely as possible. If you’re applying to be a sales manager, make sure your résumé includes the words ‘sales’ and ‘manage’ (assuming you’ve done both!).”
Pardon me for saying so, but the above advice is 1) rudimentary, 2) a no-brainer and 3) limited in its value. The problem is that 99% of the people applying for a sales manager job are going to have the words “sales” and “manage” in their résumés! Therefore, you will not get higher on any list by including these keywords. The same goes for most of the keywords in the job description, since many job seekers are getting savvy about matching their résumés to the posting.
In my estimation, to beat a computer you need a computer. That’s why I make sure that every one of my clients who applies to a mid- to large-sized company puts his or her resume through a computerized system, Preptel’s Resumeter. I have written about this program before, and I keep becoming a bigger and bigger fan.
Read more here .