Your resumé just went into the bin. Here's why

Recruitment systems handle resumés in a cut-throat way. Source: Getty
Recruitment systems handle resumés in a cut-throat way. Source: Getty

With an increasingly tight job market, Aussies are being told to remove qualifications from their resumés in order to be considered for entry-level positions - or, they remain unemployed, and on limited Newstart payments.

With a Master’s degree in public health and a Bachelor of nursing, 27-year-old Harriet old Yahoo Finance she was “relentlessly applying” for jobs, but not getting them.

And career strategist at New Generation Careers Marlene Cole knows why: “The recruitment process is outdated and broken,” she told Yahoo Finance. “Universities, job network providers and schools are setting job-seekers up for failure.”

Really, the issue boils down to job applicants downloading outdated resumé templates from Google or employment sites, Cole said.

“That resumé was created over 20 years ago,” she said.

“Now, with new ad technology, recruiters are telling me within three seconds of putting up two electrical jobs, they’re getting someone applying for both with the exact same resumé, and it’s an old template.”

Old templates, Cole said often use text boxes and tables, which can’t even be read by some recruitment systems.

“So basically, your information disappears into a massive black hole. And, if you receive a, ‘Thanks, we’ll keep you on our database,’ that means a human being hasn’t read your resumé.

“Applicant tracking systems will read your resumé and try to find keywords relevant for that job - if you don’t have those keywords, you won’t get a call.”

So what do you have to do to get the call?

Include the job title

Cole said the first step is to make sure you title the resumé with the job you’re applying for.

“As a recruiter, when it gets through that applicant tracking system, the recruiters are looking for a reason as to why they don’t have to call you. If they don’t see you have the job title, they won’t call you.”

Make sure you have keywords in your resumé

Cole said when you’re job hunting, you should have five to 10 tabs open of different companies hiring for that role.

“You’ll start seeing those keywords in those ads - and they’ve got to be throughout your resume to get through the applicant tracking system.”

Include stories to back up those keywords

Cole said there’s no point in telling a recruiter you’re motivated or results driven - “We all are,” she said.

“The stories are what the companies and the recruiter and the decision-makers are looking for. They are looking to see, not just that you did the job, but where you are now compared to where you were three months ago.”

“Tell them a time you had a day from hell - tell them a time where you saw others finding the job hard and doing it for them. What makes you unique? What are you good at?”

And if you think have no experience, think again.

“There would have been a time you had to do a team project in uni - what was it about? What did you do in your part-time job?”

Make an impact

Visually, your resumé has to be appealing, and set out well with titles and structure.

Have a hook

“The first half of your resumé’s front page is real estate - it’s a marketing brochure,” she said.

That means you shouldn’t start with your education, or even your qualifications, Cole said.

“They don’t give a s**t - they want to know what you can do for them.”

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