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).
Artificial 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.