I’ve had many meaningful conversations with clients about the importance and prevalence of software used by larger companies to sort through the often hundreds of applicants for one single job. The reality lies in the accuracy and ease that technical solutions bring to these companies and in the process the reduction of man hours. The risks are obvious in that the best applicant for the job may never get pulled from the pile.
“Over 90% of large companies use applicant tracking systems, which require a resume to apply. It is a recruiter’s first point of reference, and a poorly designed resume will hurt your chances immensely.” This stat was shared by career writer, Stephanie Walden (Mashable.com), who quotes VisualCV CEO, James Clift, whose company designs and sells templates for online marketing. “You only have one chance to make a first impression when looking for a new job, which means your resume needs to be top notch,” says James Clift whose subscribers can create, tweak and share their virtual resumes with the world. New designs are release every month and can include embedded videos, shifting images and customized content from the convenience of any keyboard, or exotic location you may be around the globe (searching for the perfect job, of course).
In Walden’s recent blog she stresses the importance of social media profiles and how applicants who are serious about getting noticed as a valid applicant for a posting must be diligent about their online presence and presentation. The underlying point to note here is that not only should your online resume be current and accurate, but the reality is that everything that is online and in some unfortunate cases ‘out of line’ are also at risk of ruining your career, or tarnishing a once-shiny career opportunity (if you’re not careful about what gets posted to the Web). There is enough debate material about balancing your online presence to launch a rocket into space.
Balancing the noticeability of your profile can be extreme: ‘Hey! Look at me!’ or ‘perfectly private’ and essentially ‘invisible’ to ‘Ooh no! How did that get online?’ The key nugget here is to comprehend the power of the Internet (with a Capital ‘I’), and to exercise great caution when ‘Accepting’ apps,’ such as Poacht, or buying a subscription to sites like Poachable.com, who help you find your dream job in the palm of your hand and with merely a few moments of aided data entry. Sites like Good.co, (‘the EHarmony of jobs,’ according to Time), aims to match you perfectly with an agreeable culture and as a fine bonus — a job. (Insert question mark, exclamation point here.)
All trends aside, all apps and dreams deactivated for a moment … the point to be noted is that not all these applications and services (free or paid) will benefit your career, or enhance your reputation. As Clift states, and every search firm and HR department will affirm, “the resume is still very much a crucial part of the hiring process.” Your personal and professional data must be compiled into a meaningful and customized format prior to any subsequent upload or dump into an app or onto a site. Consider quality versus quantity; invest your time and apply meaningful solutions to your career opportunities, rather than buy into a one-stop career shop where you’ll drown in the worldwide sea of ‘notsomuch’ opportunity.