The Latest Resume Tools To Help You Get The Interview
It’s a good time to be looking for a job. With unemployment rates at all-time lows and business booming, it’s a candidate’s market. With low supply and high demand, employers are taking unprecedented steps to attract, lure and retain talent. Whether you are a recent graduate looking to break into your first career job or a seasoned professional moving on, you should have little trouble getting a bite on your resume.
Or, so you would think. So how do you increase the chances that you’ll get the interview?
The fact is, over the past several years technology has drastically changed the way employers evaluate your resume. With very little fanfare but with exponential momentum, the rise of applicant tracking software (ATS) has changed the landscape of talent acquisition. As early as 2012, the Wall Street Journal quoted an IBM executive as saying 90% of large companies use such software and it would be “very rare to find a Fortune 500 company without one.”
But in the world of tech, 2012 is the stone age.
What Worked and What Didn’t
Back then, the software scanned a resume, identified keywords, scored and ranked the applicant against the job requirement and other applicants, then tracked them through the hiring process. This is the typical first step of any technology: automation. So, what’s changed since then?
The problem with earlier versions of the software was its inability to understand semantics. It only matched keywords and phrases that were identical to one another. This caused problems when someone said they worked for Miss Career Girl, Ms. Career Girl (with punctuation) or Ms Career Girl (without punctuation).
A New Frontier
Machine learning changed that by parsing words using a technique called natural language processing (NLP). Here, statistical “models” of text were created as training prototypes. The models were then compared to “real” text and weighted to score probability of word inferences. That is, meaning or context. Then it was just a matter of keeping score of what they got right or wrong and building and rebuilding their models. By the time we rung in the new year 2019, a very sophisticated, artificially intelligent body of language had been stored.
And if 90% of employers had the software in 2012, it is safe to say the number has not gotten lower and the intelligence quotient has gotten higher.
So, what can a career gal (or guy) do about it? The answer is, fight fire with fire.
Flipping The Script
The latest resume tools use the same technology ATS systems use. Except, in reverse. They use artificial intelligence-based parsing to compare your resume against the job requirements. These programs are called Resume Optimization Tools and ATS Checkers.
And there are only a few on the market. As of January 2019, the software review company Capterra listed 359 ATS programs employers can choose from, but not even one resume optimization software program.
It’s an emerging adaptation of an already existing technology. By using the same algorithms and machine learning body of knowledge, it levels the playing field and gives a candidate a fighting chance to get the interview. But you need to search to find them.
Until the Fall of 2018, the ones you could find all did the same thing. They compared, scored and reported keyword matches between your resume and job requirements. In November of 2018, we saw the first option that offered the added automation of extracting and merging the keywords directly into your resume.
How To Find What You’re Looking For
You can search for resume optimizers by doing a Google search on terms such as “ATS Checker” or “Resume Optimization.” Your query results should include TargetMyResume, who introduced the newest automation technology.
It is up to you to find the one that works for you. The bottom line is, use it. Creating a resume optimized to the job for which you are applying is no longer just an insider tip. It’s the new way to apply for a job.
This guest post was authored by Michael Howard
Michael Howard is the founder of TargetMyResume.com, an online resume optimizer that was the first to extract and merge keywords directly into resumes. When not optimizing resumes, you can find Michael spending time with his wife and cat, both of whom share the struggle of optimizing him