Adapt or die

AKA, “More resume blues.”

In my job search travels, I signed up for a few more online boards. One of these offered a free resume review. I figured, what the heck, and sent mine in.

Guess what?!?

Your resume has been flagged as one that will benefit greatly from the skilled attention of a professional resume writer!

Of course it was!

Can you imagine anyone sending one in for review and not getting this message?

Can’t say I was too surprised when the report came back indicating that my cv basically sucked. No sugar-coating. One thing I did appreciate was the “science” behind it. According to this service, employers use some sort of scanning software that picks up key words and phrases and my resume came in very low on that metric.

93% of all Hiring Managers use a resume scanning software to filter candidates from the application pool. To illustrate how you stand up to the automation, I passed your resume through the very same software that Hiring Managers use to filter the real talent from the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of candidates that apply for a single open position.

Even though I have [mumble-mumble] years of experience with what amounts to basically two jobs, my skills are apparently and disappointingly minimal. And even though my last job — editor at a weekly newspaper for more than 10 years — was demanding, creative, responsible, etc., this service deemed those achievements suitable to a position as  “business operations or general business” or administrative or clerical.

The only nice thing they had to say?

“Good news: your resume is saved in a recent version of Microsoft Word. An overwhelming majority of resumes look like yours and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) love it.

Eff you.

The problems with these new methods are they have no soul. They look at a few words on a page and put you into a slot. I guess the fact that I listed awards and citations I have received for my work meant nothing because it didn’t fit into one of the categories.

I could go on, but people of my age will certainly get my point. An old friend of mine recently sent me a job me he found while looking for employment. He had been working for a tech company more about 35 years then suddenly found himself with a job — along with two other colleagues with roughly the same time in and ages. Hmm, can you say ageism lawsuit? I knew you could.

On the other hand, I guess there’s no spitting into the wind or raging against the machine or any other metaphor that might apply in this situation of trying to buck the new system. I don’t want to say that time has passed me by while working at the paper for this period, but things sure have changed.

But I have to wonder if there’s even a real person reviewing these resumes, or if they’re just scanning robots?


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