Dumb Resumès for Smart Screening

Job Posters and Recruiters,

I don’t get it. I recently applied for a job for which I felt more than qualified. My resumè matched with 9 out of 11 of the qualifications mentioned on the job posting. In addition to my resumè, I had a referral from a current employee. I thought I was a shoo-in (at least for an interview). And, yet…. I still received the generic “we have decided to pursue other candidates” email. I must have been competing against Chuck Norris and the rest of the cast of The Expendables 1, 2, and 3. If candidates can’t get in the door when matching over 80% of the qualifications AND an employee referral, how should we expect to get in the door? What else should we be doing?

Job Posting

Basic Qualifications

• -Bachelors Degree

• -3-5 Years of data analysis exp

• -Ability to think strategically and take on open-ended problems

• -Proficient with SQL

• -Leadership experience

• -Understanding of statistical methods and A/B experimentation

• -Proven experience doing data analysis using Python, R or Excel

Preferred Qualifications

• -MS or MBA

• -You easily thrive working in a dynamic startup environment

• -Teamwork over ego

Fairly basic and realistic qualifications, nothing too overwhelming. 3-5 years for a mid-upper level Analytics position seems appropriate.


Now we can show a resumè that fits the basic qualifications.Resume

When reviewing the similarities, one can see that within this resumè segment  nine out of eleven of basic (or preferred) qualifications are listed. Unfortunately that does not help.

The education portion of a resume is becoming less important as more and more people get Bachelors degrees.

How Are Resumès Screened?

According to CIO.com, 75% of applicants get rejected due to the digital screening system. Of course, organizations need to screen applicants they would be overwhelmed with resumes. Unfortunately, the resume uploaded to the job posting is not the same resume that recruiting teams see. Recruiting teams see a generic “text only” version of the resume.

The Society for Human Resource Management seems to believe resumes are still screened manually. I love when people say “well… unemployment is low right now, so finding a job is hard.” It seems like it should be the opposite, right? That means that most people already have a job. I would think that less people are looking. That is, unfortunately, not the case.

Correct me if this is wrong, but when unemployment is high, people are competing for ANY job. Then, when unemployment is low, people are competing for a BETTER job. There is always competition. If you already have a job and solid qualifications, then a low unemployment rate is actually worse for you, because more people are applying for the same jobs as you. Low unemployment equals higher competition.


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