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Who REALLY Reads Your Resume Application?

Who REALLY Reads Your Resume Application?

Mystery Person Image

Do you actually know what happens to your resume & cover letter application once you submit it? If you were under the impression that your application is reviewed by a person, then I hate to shatter the illusion but this is not the case more often than not.

Leaps in technological advancement combined with the decrease in cost to most companies means that technical software is available to almost any firms that wish to use them. The question is whether or not your resume application has gone to a company that has made the investment or not!

Regardless, the end result is a complete game-changer in how you, as a job applicant, need to go about writing your resume and cover letters so that you can beat the software & get the attention of the software user and progress to the next stage of the selection process.

These software programs are known within the recruitment industry as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These ATSs are primarily used as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool & are a great way of centrally managing all aspects of the recruitment process such as managing job postings & applications, emailing candidates & hiring managers, to name but a few. I can honestly say that I love them - they have increased efficiency, productivity, transparency and outcomes.

Are they using an ATS?

There are two tell tale signs that you can use to see if a company is using an ATS.

  1. Career Portals: When you apply via a specific company's careers portal and you are required to establish a username and password
  2. Email Confirmation: When you receive a very generic email confirming that your application has been received after you submitted it.

So what does this mean for you?

Well, this is an important realisation for you to come to as it more significantly affects the way your application will be reviewed. If you are applying to a small firm which may or may not have a dedicated HR or Recruitment Manager then you are more likely to have your resume reviewed by a real person but the larger the firm or the more regularly a firm recruits, the chances are that it will be vetted by an ATS.

Beating an ATS

  1. Simply Laid Out: makes it easier for the systems to pick up the content and transcribe into the system
  2. Keyword Rich & Keyword Relevant: many people make the mistake of thinking that keyword rich and relevant are the same thing but they aren’t. It is important that you read carefully the advert or the role description (if you have one available - especially when applying for jobs within government) and ensure that the key words and concepts they have communicated are also mirrored in your resume. If you have used a similar term but not the same, then change it!
  3. Salary: You may be asked about your salary expectations. Think carefully about your answer when you are required to answer this question. The job board may be a guide but it is always hard to tell. From my experience, if someone is way outside the salary band they automatically get rejected (based on salary and not other criteria) but for those who are just outside my bracket I will generally give them a call.
  4. LinkedIn: connecting via LinkedIn is a great way to expand your connections and especially those that are involved in the hiring decision. Best thing is to upgrade to a Personal Premium Account
  5. Employee Referrals: most companies will pay their staff a referral fee if they successfully recommend someone for a job. Moreover, when a staff member makes a referral they are also (to some extent) vouching for you so that carries some weight. In the companies that I have worked, we take these referrals very seriously and respond to each one with a sense of duty to the referee as they have taken the time to promote our company and make the introduction.

So the next time you apply for a job, consider who/what is actually reading your resume and what actions you can take to increase your chances of getting to the next stage.

Graeme Gilovitz has over 15 years Recruitment Industry experience & is a Director of SummitResumes, a job application specialist. Previously he was a Director of Summit Talent (a boutique Australian based recruitment agency with an international reach & client base) & has also worked in-house with some of Australia's largest companies. With a background in advertising & marketing prior to recruitment, Graeme possesses a unique perspective on communication, the recruitment process & how to ensure that you get the most out of your job search and applications.

For a FREE CONSULTATION contact Graeme & his team on (02) 9011-5877 /

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