“Computers have a very specific way that they look at resumes,” said Jon Ciampi, founder of Preptel Corp. in Danville, Calif. For a subscription of $25 a month, Ciampi’s two-year-old company will help a candidate reconfigure a resume so a computer can better spot the qualifications that make that candidate a good match for the job.
With the recession and its lingering aftermath, the number of resumes generated for any job opening is so overwhelming that human resource staffs can’t handle them all. The Labor Department reported that in February there were 3.5 million job openings and 12.8 million people unemployed.
No wonder recruiters turn to software created by companies such as Kenexa Inc. in Wayne, Pa., a leader in the field.
All this talent management may be efficient, but it can be maddening for job seekers, who spend endless hours applying online, only to feel as if they’ve sent their resumes — and their hopes — into a realm impossible to divine.
Most counselors advise that the best way to get a job is networking, making connections through people you know. But there will remain some portion of the hunt that relies on online applications.
Ciampi said job seekers really need to prepare two categories of resumes — one for humans, the other for computers. For example, he said, a resume for humans might use the words “career successes” and “accomplishments,” but a computer scanner would rather see work experience.
Work history presented in a spreadsheet is unreadable for a computer, no matter how clear it is to a human. Computers, Weidner said, like to see company name, followed by title, dates and description of duties. Varying the format may confuse a computer.
Only the top 10% to 20% of resumes, those with the highest number of matches, make it through to a human for further consideration, Weidner said.
And all this assumes that the employers writing the job descriptions are actually capable of crafting postings that clearly reflect the skills and qualities needed for the jobs.