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Candidates: How To Beat The Recruitment Robot

How to beat the recruitment robot

Candidates, are you struggling to get past the initial hiring stages? You’ve tried changing things around on your CV, writing an even more impressive covering letter but you’ve still had no luck. There’s one thing you may not have considered… your job application is being looked at by a recruitment robot.

Where you could be going wrong…

You’re applying for a job, expecting the recipient to be human. But this just isn’t always the case. In terms of high-volume recruitment, where roles are attracting hundreds of applicants, hiring managers physically don’t have the time to read each individual application. Not to mention, screening, interviewing and making sure effective key decisions are made. Therefore, employers and recruiters look towards employing hiring technology to help manage their heavy workload.

Leading us to beat the ‘Recruitment Robot’. Whilst this may be a slight exaggeration of AI and automation in recruitment. The fundamentals are still the same. Technology usage is becoming increasingly more prevalent within the industry. Therefore it’s important that you as a job seeker are aware of how to design your application to suit the needs of both a human and a robot.

CV preparation

Work experience

Write a CV that’s ATS ready. Applicant Tracking Systems are used by lots of major employers and are designed to manage the hiring process. Therefore, when uploading your CV to an employer’s careers page be cautious of the type of software they may have implemented. Applicant tracking systems tend to favour keywords and determine your progression by how well your CV matched the job description.

Key details

It is important to include all of the relevant key details, that could affect your job chances. Employment dates, company names, past and current position titles are the types of information the recruitment robot may scan for when processing your application. Some argue stating your current address is also an important factor when applying for a job.

Whilst you may not feel comfortable including your exact location, stating the nearest, town, city or region can still be effective for recruitment technology to establish your distance from the potential role.

Format compatibility

Check your CV format is correct. The file format must align with what is being asked of you. Some applicant tracking systems can only read certain files, so when the employer asks for .doc and not a pdf, make sure you comply (it’s for your benefit!).

Hiring technology will usually not recognise pictures within your job application. So unless you’re submitting a creative CV or portfolio, there’s no need to take up this valuable space with images.

Keep your digital footprint in check

Some recruitment software has the capability to take into consideration your online presence. Including social media platforms to help make their hiring decision. This could draw out any relevant information, recruiters and employers might use to ‘pre-screen’ you before offering you a potential interview.

However, if you do not want to be found, privatise your accounts, change your name and delete any pictures or statuses that do not reflect your professional self.

Be prepared for a less ‘traditional’ style interview

Your next interview may not be what you expect. Employers can use a video interview powered by AI to ask initial screening questions. This means you might not actually speak or interact with a human recruiter right up until the final interview stage. However, if you are aware of this potential robot interviewer, it can help you design your answers to include keywords that their algorithms may be searching for.

Whilst this new type of blind hiring can feel strange to some job seekers, it can be effective in helping to eliminate bias and promote diversity.

Follow up

In an industry where automation can influence hiring decisions, don’t be afraid to add a little human touch. A simple email to the hiring manager following the submission of your job application can sometimes be a nice addition. Just because their technology thinks you’re not a good match, it doesn’t mean the hiring manager will!

Beating the recruitment robot can be difficult. With more employers than ever incorporating technology into their hiring strategy, it means you as a candidate have to change how you have previously applied for a job in the past.


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