“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race”

~ Stephen Hawking

The technology involved with finding the perfect candidate within the massive global talent pipeline is continually evolving to meet the ever-increasing demands of coming up with the right person for the right job. Machines today simply scan resumes according to how they’re programmed by their human operators. Future methods for finding the right candidate may involve those machines asking the questions –  if Stephen Hawking’s dystopian prediction holds true. Using advanced biometric tools and facial scanning technology to measure micro-expressions and subtle nuanced behavior, these new technologies would bring an entirely new meaning to the definition of work assessment behavior inventory (WABI). Rather than sitting with a human interviewer, applicants would face the cold unblinking eye of the artificial intelligence enhanced applicant tracking system (AI EATS), as it methodically and systematically observes.

Every aspect of a person’s physiology will be observed – eye position, iris diameter, heart rate, pulse, respiration, muscle contraction, changes of skin conductivity – all in response to questions and hypothetical scenarios presented to the candidate during the interview process. There will be no opportunity to establish rapport with a human interviewer, as every expression observed by AI EATS will calculatingly and without regard to emotion, integrate the findings into a formula using mathematical algorithms designed to scientifically determine a candidate’s viability as a logical selection. The future incorporation of artificial intelligence will forever change the landscape of how employers find and procure talent to meet the challenges of doing business in a fluid and dynamic global environment.

Hacking the system

That day, fortunately, has not arrived…and in the meantime, we can anticipate the process by which the machines derive their data, and by using research and preparation we can apply our knowledge of applicant tracking systems to probe potential points of exploitation. I’m not talking about “hacking”; I’m talking about employing the same methodology developed by the MIT Blackjack Team used to win at the tables in Vegas. Or, you could say they used their knowledge to beat Vegas. Either way, same results.

Think of the ATS as the great and powerful OZ in Vegas, and you’re on a mission to get a peek behind the curtain. To beat the odds requires that you step up your game. You’re the player, your resume is your agent, but before the first letter appears on your virtual document, careful consideration must be given to avoid ATS pitfalls – of which there are many.

How to Know ATS

Consider the ATS and its known characteristics. It doesn’t do diagonal lines, tables, graphics, icons, pictures, special characters, thick horizontal lines, too much bolding, contact information in headers or footers, or leading employment information with dates. Make the mistake of committing any of these errors in your resume, and instantly you’re resume is as if it doesn’t exist to the machines. You can be the most qualified person out of 10,000 applicants, but it won’t matter if your resume is not designed and created specifically with ATS in mind. The machines will chew it up and not even spit it out. If you can get past the ATS – with the write formatting, the right keywords, and the knowledge necessary – your resume will meet the goal of appearing before a human.

Simple tips for beating an electronic scanning process:

1. Read the instructions. Employers don’t leave you hanging intentionally. If you don’t understand the application process, don’t hesitate to call a point-of-contact with the company and ask for help.

2. Use keywords. Your resume shouldn’t be a list of back-to-back keywords, but you should make sure it reflects that you qualify for the position. A computer can’t translate and doesn’t make substitutions.

3. Avoid confusing formatting. Your resume should be visually appealing – both to a human and to the ATS. Some formatting tricks work better than others. When in doubt, opt for a simple resume format.


Bruce Diggs invites you to checkout MilitaryToCivilianResumes.com      

Since 2009, Bruce has written thousands of resumes supporting clients from all over the world and all walks of life, in achieving their career goals.

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Bruce Diggs is a former HR staff member for KBR in Iraq and Flour in Afghanistan, with experience on the LOGCAP project in Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. For truly viral no-spin information on the reality of working in Afghanistan, stop by his website www.LogCap4Jobs.com and be sure to checkout his world famous “Free Advice”! Bruce can also be found guest blogging for www.DangerZoneJobs.com.