In the "good old days," humans read and reviewed resumes. They likely gave critical thought to the information and they perhaps had time to read between the lines to discern what skills the applicant was offering.
Today, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) "read" resumes, parsing information looking for key words and phrases that often don't seem to stick to job search related definitions of key phrases at all! Relying on algorithms, these key phrases often span two phrases in the job posting, and require quite a gift for writing to incorporate into a resume in a way that doesn't stand out as nonsensical!
The first quote below is from a colleague and the second is my response. I honestly believe that recruitment needs if not an overhaul at least some updating!
Any job hunter who treats job searching as a game is destined for a long search.
Stephanie, many HR personnel have no idea how their parsing software works. There are over 100 ATS software providers each doing their own thing. Some have built-in parsing software, some require the purchase of 3rd party written parsing software and some companies even have IT staffs create their own home-grown variety of parsing.
Fat chance your valid points will get resolved anytime soon!
If the recruitment system isn't broken, it's certainly dysfunctional if HR personnel don't have any idea of how their company's parsing software works! "Recruitment" needs a crusader to lead a major upgrade and shake-down to replace a no longer valid legacy system, if you will, with something that makes some sense! Any takers for this role of crusader? It likely comes with no salary, recognition from some and disdain from others, but a feeling of great satisfaction in revitalizing a demoralized system!
And my "valid points":
What I don't get is this: why are companies not educating applicants on how to structure and compose a resume in order to give every applicant a level playing field? Few job hunters actually give any thought to the ATS and thus even great candidates may not stand a chance. From the employer's point of view that makes no sense to me! Are they after top talent or not?
But as for the game playing and tactics - I'm not a fan of this at all. I like the feel and sound of authentic communications so much more than stilted, potentially phony resume content.
As I have said before, methinks that the recruitment process needs some tweaking! (If not a complete overhaul!)