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In recent years, many companies, both large and small, have turned to automated programs to handle the recruitment process. This may seem a bit scary to some job seekers, since their applications are not reviewed by humans. But working with software designed to look for specific things in a job application means there are plenty of ways you can use the system in your favor.
First, you have to understand how these systems work. Once you fill an online job application form, your information will be sent to a database known as an automated applicant tracking system. This system sorts applications and provides the recruiter with lists of suitable candidates.
The system looks for specific keywords in the application. The more keywords the system finds, the more likely you are to end up on the top of the list. Identifying the possible keywords is essential. There are plenty of ways to identify these words. A good idea is to read the job description carefully and try to figure out what these keywords might be.
When you fill out the form for your job application, make sure not to leave anything blank. Not filling out certain fields might make you lose a good opportunity to impress. Some very important information you might think is nonessential gets left out. With automated systems, since you don’t really know what their looking for specifically, it’s best if you have everything covered, just in case.
To make these keywords stand out, it’s a good idea to keep your resume simple. Making your application as clear and legible as possible is a sound approach even when you’re dealing with people. Programs have an even harder time reading through layouts that are bit too creative. Tip: avoid putting important information, such as name, phone number or address, in the header of the document, since many of these systems cannot read information contained in the header. And always remember to proofread your application before you send it out. Typos and other minor errors may end up costing you your job. It would be best if you avoided abbreviations and other conventions a software might not be able to interpret correctly.
Another smart thing to do is to stick to jobs you know you’re qualified for. If you lack experience, you may want to start out with a less challenging job which can provide you with plenty of opportunities to gain work experience and develop your skills. Jobs such as these allow you to try out different positions which, in your resume, will translate into a varied and rich experience.
If you’re still somewhat uncertain about your chances when applying for a job, try talking to someone who is already there. The importance of networking when looking for an opening can’t be overstated. Asking friends or acquaintances for help can provide you with numerous benefits. Everyone does it, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t ask around. And, before you start out networking, it might be a good idea to spruce up your social media pages, or even create special profiles just for this purpose. In these modern days, your prospective employer is bound to look up your profiles, so make sure they’re all in check.
Networking goes well with research. Look up the companies you are interested in. Find out what they focus on, what sort of people they might be looking for. Try to figure out what kind of person they truly want, beyond the simple job description. This could you give some insight as to what those all-important keywords might actually be. And when you do get to the interview phase of the recruitment process, you’ll already have a head start. Remember, you want to convince your employer that he needs you for the job.
If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Don’t lose hope. If you start applying for jobs thinking in the back of your mind that you won’t get it, chances are this will shine through on your application. Take each attempt as a new brand new opportunity to prove yourself. Try to figure out where you might have gone wrong with your previous application, and see where there’s room for improvement.
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