If we’ve learnt anything when staying at home in 2020, it’s that every part of our lives - from shopping to working - has been digitised.
Your job search journey is not spared from technology either. Today, a good portion of the job hunt and application process takes place online. Applicants need to find and apply for jobs online, find new ways to make a good resume and let their personality shine during video interviews. Employers are also adopting cutting-edge applicant tracking and chatbot systems to eliminate human bias and streamline the recruitment process.
As the screening process becomes highly automated, how can job seekers like yourself breeze through the recruitment process?
With recruiters and hiring managers receiving hundreds of applications for a job, a candidate's resume should be brief, precise and appealing. Here are some tried-and-tested ways to optimise and robot-proof your resume in the digital age to maximise your chances of scoring an interview with your dream employer.
how to create a winning digital resume
1. use technology to do your research
Unlike in the days of yore, nuggets of information about the company and role you’re applying for are right at your fingertips.
You can read about the company’s brand story, mission and values from their corporate websites and social media channels, and ask yourself if your principles align with theirs’. You can also read their latest sustainability and financial reports to gain an understanding of the company’s financial performance and future plans.
It’s also important to not pigeonhole your research. Look at other third-party sites such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn or Google My Business reviews for first-hand perspectives and more transparent insights into their work ethics, processes, people and the realities of working with the company. Do a quick appraisal of what you want in an ideal employer, and decide if the organisation can match - or better yet, surpass - your expectations.
If you’re someone who values a healthy work-life balance above all else, then read what their alumni and employees have to say about their working hours or HR policies. If you’re unable to find this information from your usual sources, you could always post the question on Reddit communities.
Not only will the online research help you decide if the role is a good fit for you, but it will also provide you with valuable information that will help you appeal to the hiring managers.
For instance, you could tailor the tone of your resume and cover letter more effectively based on the culture, goals, or values of the organisation. You could also link your relevant qualifications and experience to the firm’s mission and specific hiring needs.
2. find the right platform to upload your digital resumes
A digital resume or CV means that your work experiences and skills can be accessible to hiring managers and recruiters via online platforms. Depending on your industry, there are many platforms for you to upload your digital resume to get noticed by hiring managers, but how you present the information will depend on how the platforms are designed.
Most professional candidates use LinkedIn as an online platform to list their past work experiences and skills, as well as endorsements and testimonials from their past employers. There are also some individuals in the creative and arts industry who build an online website to host their resumes and showcase their portfolios.
3. mirror the job posting
You’ve heard it time and again, one of the keys to a great CV is to make sure each resume that you submit needs to be tailored towards the role and firm you’re applying for.
With today’s modern employers, both human hiring managers and artificial intelligence (AI) tools do not appreciate templated resumes as they signal a lack of effort and real interest in the company and role. HR professionals and applicant screening algorithms are highly trained to identify and cast aside run-of-the-mill resumes that do not align well enough with the job description.
Hiring managers are also looking for committed and highly motivated job seekers who are genuinely interested about the company and role. You can explicitly show your enthusiasm for the job by drawing parallel examples and requirements to demonstrate your interests and fit.
Majority of online postings would already outline the skill sets the employer is looking for in the job description. In the age of AI and modern recruitment, keywords play a significant part in a job search. When you’re writing your resume, select keywords from the job requirements so that hiring managers can identify them more quickly, thus improving the chance for your profile to be put through the candidate shortlist.
That said, never lie or embellish your skills and experience on your resume. There’s nothing worse than making false claims on your resume, only to be exposed later that you’re actually unqualified for the role. Not only will it impact your reputation, it may also affect your future employment prospects.
4. keep things simple but specific
Be sharp and sweet when it comes to drafting your resume. Demonstrate clearly and concisely that you are both interested and qualified for the position.
Make use of bulleted points and actionable words to describe your relevant qualifications, skills and achievements. Buzzwords are great, but not when they’re cliche and ring hollow. Avoid overused terms such as “experienced” and “motivated” if you don’t want to sound like every other job candidate in the market.
AI tools are not programmed to understand convoluted sentences or uncommon words. They are also not able to pick up things such as tonality or writing traits. So make sure to keep your resume simple, concise and well-structured.
A good way to keep things simple but specific is to include metrics, numbers and statistics. Quantifying the impact you’ve made in your previous workplace so that recruiters and hiring managers can determine your expertise, capabilities and growth potential. You could mention either of the following:
- Number of people you’ve managed
- Growth or cost-saving % for key figures such as sales/revenue, expenditure or client volume
- Commendations you’ve received for outstanding performance.
If you are unable to provide exact figures, opt for a range and specific time frame. An example is, “exceeded sales budget of $50,000 in less than six months”.
One of the best ways to take advantage of the digital age is to include links to your work samples or online portfolio in your resume to show what you can bring to the table. You can also include links to your professional social media accounts as extra sources of information about your skills, experiences and interests for a better job and culture fit.
5. be precise in your formatting and editing
If a piece of technology is going to read your resume, it has to be able to identify it as what it is supposed to be - a resume. CVs with less than traditional formatting run the risk of being misread by AIs.
Using professional and clean fonts in a standard size are the safest way to go. Ensure that the information on your resume is cleanly presented in a simple and well-structured layout to improve readability. Use images, graphics and logos sparingly as AI programs might not be able to read them.
It’s also important to review your resume for any typos or grammar errors to make a great first impression. Any typos will also affect the AI’s ability to accurately read it. Don’t rely purely on automated tests to spell check your resume - instead, take the time to proofread your work or get somebody else to lend a second pair of eyes.
Although design is one of the factors for a nicely-formatted digital resume, a good CV is way more than that. Being concise and consistent can help your resume stand out and leave a good impression on your reader.
6. it’s all about the human touch
Ultimately, any AI or technology that scans your resume doesn’t always make the final decision.
The main use of digital technology is to assist the hiring manager, who is the person you need to make an impression on during the job application process. Hiring managers and recruiters will eventually connect with shortlisted job applicants to understand their motivations, aspirations and personality to better determine the job fit, culture fit and boss fit.
No one knows the importance of the human touch better than our consultants. If you would like personalised advice for your resume, you may contact our friendly specialised recruiters for a chat. They will also be able to assist with your job search and help expand your career growth options.