resumeCrafting a perfect resume is a daunting task for anyone. The challenge to condense down a lifetime of learning and accomplishments into a compelling two-page narrative of why you’re the best person for the job feels nigh impossible. It is especially disheartening for job seekers when they are faced with online job applications which feature five pages of fill-in-the-box questions and when completed the applicant is rewarded with a bland, “Your application has been submitted.” Falling into a resume black hole is frustrating for applicants who have spent a lot of time jumping through hoops for a company that does not value the applicant’s time enough to generate genuine response.

The Application Process is Off-Putting

When you’re facing a shortage of qualified candidates that will add value to your company, is your first thought, “Let me make the application process as tedious and repellant as possible?” Resume screeners are built on a foundation of faulty logic. Resume screening was created to weed out unsuitable candidates instead of recruiting suitable ones.

The Requirements Are Not Flexible

Sometimes the qualifications for a position are set so high that the employer rejects everyone in the process, including candidates that could be an asset to the company. A hiring manager should be looking for the most qualified candidate – not the most convenient. Is the company stuck on requiring a specific college degree when an equivalent is fine? Does the screening process require four but never three years of experience?

Keywords are Created Based on A Previous Job Description

Cultivating the best match between a company and a prospective hire is not based on job descriptions and criteria for the last person who worked the job. Companies should be looking for someone to step into the position that can make it better. Resume screening programs cannot find that person based on keywords constructed from previous job descriptions.

Applicants Can Work the System

A brief Google search pulls up over 24,000 search results for how to beat a resume screener. Applicants have caught onto the process of screening based on keywords and will stuff their resumes full of them to move onto the next stage of the hiring process. This means that the applicants who are usually approved by resume screeners know how to use keywords appropriately, but that does not necessarily make them the best person for the position. A candidate with better skills might be left in the slush pile.

What To Do Instead?

Pre-interview assessments can be a great way for companies to get a real feel for an applicant’s qualifications and relevant skill sets. An applicant cannot win over an assessment with keywords, but skills alone which means that the company will not be spending time interviewing candidates that are not a good fit for the position.

While resume screeners were invented to streamline the application process, they are not a useful tool in recruiting and hiring a bright, well-qualified candidate that can be an asset to a company. The foundation of a good recruiting process is human contact. Make the applicants know your company values their time and it is much more likely that your company will find a good fit and a loyal employee.

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