Several years ago, we wrote about companies’ early use of computer software to screen resumes. Since then, firms have greatly upped their use of automated screeners. And software has become much more sophisticated, That means candidates must build better resumes. With that in mind, we now address getting your resume past AI (artificial intelligence).


Tips for Getting Your Resume Past AI

Consider these observations from Heidi Mitchell for the Wall Street Journal:

Before a job recruiter gets a peek at a résumé these days, an AI tool may likely judge it first. And its main criteria are keywords.

If there is a job for a CFO, for instance, the AI would be told to look for the phrase “chief financial officer.” But also terms that might relate to it, such as “Fortune 500” or “team collaboration.” The AI software, then plows through hundreds of résumés in a second. Finds the ones with the most keyword matches. And passes them along to a human.

So, applicants should just drop in as many keywords as possible to boost their chances, right? Wrong. To leverage keywords correctly, job seekers must strike a delicate balance. Too few keywords means the AI will reject the résumé. But too many may turn a résumé into a word salad that turns off a human recruiter.

Because different applicant-tracking systems will search for different keywords, job seekers should consider using varied words for the same skill or title

Revamping Your Résumé

In her WSJ article, Mitchell presents excellent advice. Read the article for her tips. Then, review the before and after résumé examples from the Journal. Highlighted below. [Note: As an educational, nonprofit site, we are showing these copyrighted materials. But in in a reduced size. Go to the article for readable versions.]

An Example

A former elementary-school teacher seeks a job in corporate training and development. Résumé consultant Wendy Enelow composed a new résumé. (The name and some details have been changed.)


The original résumé buried a lot of the applicant’s accomplishments and lacked keywords and metrics for the target job. Since the job seeker wants to transition from teaching to a different profession, he should take the skills honed as a teacher and reframe them in the context of the job sought.

Getting Your Resume Past AI


Within the article, 12 tips (highlighted in red) are presented.

Getting Your Resume Past AI


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