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Writing Resume on Computer

Resume Writing in the Artificial Intelligence Age

A resume is a resume, right? Not if you ask a robot. I like to think of a resume as a personalized, direct-mail effort. And in any successful mailing, you must first consider your target audience. The target audience for a resume is a human and a robot (either AI or ATS).

Writing Resume on ComputerArtificial intelligence (AI) predictive software hiring tools can rapidly evaluate resumes using keywords. The robot evaluates the skills, experience and education against the job requirements and spits out either a score or a pass/fail for the resume — all before a human resource person needs to review.

Some organizations are currently using Applicant Tracking systems (ATS) to automatically reject applicants without the right keywords or missing information. The good news is that robots are less biased than humans, and the robot can ignore age, sex, race and other information deemed prejudicial.

So before you send another resume, here are a few thoughts for the digital world:

  • Use keyword phrases from the job ads/posts in your resume and cover letter. Some call it “mirroring” the job description. Get used to the fact that your world is now controlled by keywords.
  • Use words such as significant and strong in your descriptions. This will give “clues” to the AI software of your elevated skill sets.
  • Quantify your performance throughout your resume. Detail your experience, such as the number of people managed, increased sales by percentage or percentage of projects finished on time.
  • AI may not be able to read your PDFs. The PDF may look like an image. Use text-based applications such as Microsoft Word. Also, fancy designs may look great to a human, but a machine will not appreciate the formatting.
  • Personalize your resume to each job description. It takes time, but the systems are built to weed out all disqualifying resumes.

Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.

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Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.