The things I didn’t know about resumes

So, today I received an interesting email from a recruiter:

Can you rewrite your CV in the  format attached so that it will be accepted by our computer system? After reviewing your CV manually we think you’d be eligible for a role but we can’t upload your CV to the system to compare you against other candidates.


Some Recruiting Company or Other.

Confused by this I called them up and asked why they couldn’t just read the others as they’d read my resume to compare them.

It turns out that resumes are no longer read and compared by humans, recruiters are little more than interview specialists, the computers tell them who to interview and send rejection letters to those who don’t fit the criteria of it’s search engine.

The issue however is that these systems are incredibly poorly designed, they use a standard database lookup system to find candidates // Far from the heuristic scanning that we a re used to when searching the web, thank you google! //, So not only do you need to have the correct format to be accepted into the database, but you also need to have very specific KeyWords.

You see it’s like an ATM, the recruiter’s input the job spec (the same one you read and use to decide whether or not you want to apply of the job) // Which can be compared to inputting your credit or debit card // they then select the number of applicants // just like you select how much cash to withdraw // and the machine returns the number of Resumes requested that have the highest number of matching KeyWords.

Now we aren’t talking about words that mean the same thing, such as a person would read “Programming Guru” to be the same if not better than “Programming Expert”, If the advert states “Programming Expert” in it’s requirements then unless you have “Programming Expert” in the right place, right format and right order then your CV will be discarded. Tough break huh?

So how do you make your CV stand out when it’s being viewed by both a computer and by a person (so that it still looks good when they eventually print it ready for your interview), for that you must be very cunning. //When I eventually work this one out I’ll let you know 😉 //

 Recruiters – could they get any more lazy?

Speak Soon,

4 Responses to “The things I didn’t know about resumes”
  1. Ana Lavinia says:

    So, I have worked in three different fields so far. If I decide to look for another job, either I have to decide on one of these fields and create a resume accordingly or create three different resumes in case I would like to job hunt in all the three fields? What a hell? Plus the cover letters they would like to read, in order to decide if our resume is worth it? I was not aware of that. I assumed they are making a very shallow screening because of the great number of resumes they receive, but candidates being chosen by a computer, I did not expect. It is very disturbing.

    • Tell me about it!
      I was as shocked as you must be now.
      My understanding is that a large number of recruiters these days use a software first and then read the applications that it selects.
      I’ll probably come back to the subject later.
      I’ve identified a number of recruiters using the software, so I’m going to make a number of fake aliases and resume’s to find out what triggers the software’s system and what the supported layouts are.
      When I have some data I’ll write it up as an article.
      Keep your eyes on the header menu of my blog the article should be up in a few weeks.

      Speak soon,

      PS. To anyone I’ve sent my personal resume to you are not in the study and this post is not reflective of my application to your firm/company.
      The CVs that I’m using in my study of these “candidate profilers” are imagined facsimiles of fictitious characters created purely for the article’s research.

  2. Woah this weblog is wonderful i like reading your articles. Keep up the good paintings! You know, many persons are looking around for this info, you could help them greatly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


The wacky stories of a crazy lady.

Expat Since Birth – A Life spent "abroad"

a blog by a multilingual lifelong expat/international, linguist, researcher, speaker, mother of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about raising children with multiple languages, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...

Balance and Grace

Musings on simplicity and the grace it takes to acheive it


No, you don't just get over it.

everyday gurus

Everyday, Everywhere We Are Guided Towards Happiness

The Better Man Project ™

a man chasing dreams


A Romanian girl in London

Help! ...I'm an EXPAT?

From departure to integration - The story of a hapless Brit thrown into expat life, Will he survive? or will he be assimilated?

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: