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How to get your CV past Artificial Intelligence

How to get your CV past Artificial Intelligence (AI)


More companies than ever are using software to screen their mountains of job applications, making it increasingly difficult to be seen by a human recruiter. A key component of these pieces of software is that CVs must pass through an automated test, based on artificial intelligence, before humans ever see them. Through the introduction of online job boards, networking sites like LinkedIn, corporate application tracking systems (ATS), and so forth, it was inevitable that artificial intelligence would need to be introduced to the recruitment process in order to pluck out the candidates deemed to be a good fit. So while applying may be as easy as a mouse click, that CV is much more likely to be screened out into oblivion than end up in front of a recruiter.


To avoid being sifted out, job seekers should understand the new systems, which have been spreading to more industries and positions.


The sifting process


CVs are initially evaluated based on relevant keywords related to categories such as skills, experience or education, and are compared according to job requirements and person specifications. Certain systems favour applicants who have worked at certain companies more positively, alongside this it can also ascertain how old a skill seems to be from where it appears in a job history.


Giving yourself the best shot


It is a good idea to tailor your CV to the specific position that you are applying for, rather than just your cover letter, as this can help you to match the necessary keywords based on the job description. Greg Moran, chief executive of OutMatch, a system that screens more than 10 million applicants a year for companies including Pepsi, Toyota and Walmart, confirmed that the following actions would help applicants avoid an automated rejection.


Alongside using the keywords listed in the job description, the use of powerful words such as “significant” and “strong” in a job description can be clues that those skills will be weighted heavily, so you should be emphasising those skills in your CV, particularly when describing the necessary skills in your most current experience. Using the most relevant keywords in your most recent job helps to highlight those skills, if you mention a skill that was used in a job 10 years ago but do not mention that skill in your more recent work, the algorithm may give it less weight.


Quantifying wherever possible can contribute to passing the gatekeeper, “Managed a team of 10  that increased sales by 50 percent over three years” has proven to work better than “Managed a team that significantly increased sales.”


Another important factor is ensuring that the system can ‘read’ your uploaded documents, in some systems, the PDF file format can make your files appear as an image rather than actual text, so Microsoft Word may be a better choice. If you tend to format documents through adding things such as columns or images, this may in fact be setting you back as this can potentially make your document less readable to the system, it is key to make smart formatting choices.

Mentioning all of your skills separately can help you to match the criteria, the system may scan for specific experience, for example experience working with a specific programming system, so try not to lump these together with generic statement like you are ‘experienced in facilities’.


Remember: A strong CV is just the first step


Increasingly, the simple online application system is just the first step. It is gradually becoming more common for candidates to be asked to take skills and personality assessments and record answers to interview questions as the next stage of screening, this stage has often been described as the stage which allows applicants to ‘tell their story’.


Still, most applicants who are asked to submit extra information won’t have the chance to tell that story to a human. It has been estimated that a system might typically deem 80 percent of candidates who submitted an application for an entry-level professional job to have the basic skills and competency to succeed in the role, leading them to be asked to complete one or more tests. Most test takers will then be asked to record a video interview. This information, from the tests and a transcript of the interview, is then reviewed by the artificial intelligence software- around 20 percent of candidates are then passed on to speak to a recruiter.


Previously, candidates who made it to the interview stage might have a one in 10 chance of getting the job. Now, due to the new recruitment methods, an individual may have the same requirements for a much slimmer chance.



Don’t neglect your other tools


It is key that job seekers don’t rely on the new systems alone to secure a new position. Other factors, such as ensuring that LinkedIn profiles are kept up to date, and that other public social media accounts highlight your skills, experience and interests can also contribute to individuals finding new positions as these platforms showcase an individual to hiring managers or recruitment teams. Through these platforms, you can also broaden your network, for example creating links with individuals who are based at your target companies.


Believe you can take your FM career further?

Well we can help make this happen! Here at Maxwell Stephens we specialise in finding the right job for every candidate we deal with, this sis achieved through our impressive client base and in depth knowledge in the field of Facilities Management!

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