If this is a foreign language to you — "proprietary algorithms," "advanced semantic search," "computational linguistics" and "statistical inference" — keep reading.
Workers who haven't applied for jobs lately may not know how those terms affect one's ability to be tapped from the applicant pack.
Technological advances, reliance on computers to scan resumes, and staff cutbacks in human resource offices are causing most large companies to use computers for a first read of submitted resumes.
Jonathan Ciampi, president of Preptel Corp., uses all those above mentioned terms in practice. His company helps applicants do search engine optimization of their resumes.
"Cross out the common words in any resume — "communication skills," "experienced" and the like — and you're left with key words and phrases that are essential to each specific job," Ciampi explained.
"That's what a computer pulls out. It's not whether the person has the skills. It's whether they've tailored their resume to the job they're going after."
Suppose a sales manager posting says they're looking for someone with cross-functional sales team experience.
Every legitimate applicant will have "sales manager" experience on the resume, but that cross-functional phrase better be on it too. The art is not just copying the posted requirements, but artfully blending the words with one's actual experience.
Ciampi acknowledges that job hunters bristle at computers instead of humans doing a first read on applications. But that's reality in many cases.
The average job applicant, he said, has a 4 to 5 percent chance of getting a "hit" from a computer selection process. With resume optimization, he said, the chances improved to 50 percent in a test his company ran last year.
"It starts with choosing the right job based on your experience, then positioning your resume to be a better fit for the specific job," he said.
(Diane Stafford is the workplace and careers columnist at The Kansas City Star. Her "Your Job" blog at economy.kansascity.com includes daily posts about job-related issues of wide interest. Readers may write to her at: Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108-1413, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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