PHILADELPHIA — In age-old Greece, priests aggregate at the Temple of Apollo on Mount Parnassus, the bigger to adapt the deity-inspired prophecies of Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi.
Google Inc., for all its omnipresence, is no deity, yet legions convenance search-engine access in an accomplishment to all-powerful the abstruse algorithms that move assertive websites to the top of an online search.
Now comes applicant optimization, about the aforementioned abstraction activated to job seekers, with casework that advice them abuse their resumes so they end up at the top of a account generated by a company’s computerized talent-management system.
Hurdle No. 1? Dazzling the computers, which these canicule are added acceptable than bodies to be frontline resume readers.
“Computers accept a actual specific way that they attending at resumes,” said Jon Ciampi, architect of Preptel Corp. in Danville, Calif. For a cable of $25 a month, Ciampi’s 2-year-old aggregation will advice a applicant reconfigure a resume so a computer can bigger atom the abilities that accomplish that applicant a acceptable bout for the job.
With the recession and its abiding aftermath, the cardinal of resumes generated for any job aperture is so cutting that animal ability staffs can’t handle them all. The Labor Department appear that in February there were 3.5 actor job openings and 12.8 actor bodies unemployed.
No admiration recruiters about-face to software created by companies such as Kenexa Inc. in Wayne, Pa., a baton in the field.
“The aggregate is aloof too high,” said Jeffrey Weidner, ambassador of sourcing science at Kenexa, whose website describes a case abstraction in which one wireless-communications aggregation accustomed 5 actor resumes, arch to 50 hires.
In 2011, companies common spent $3 billion on talent-management systems that browse and array resumes, agenda interviews, clue follow-ups and absorb amusing media, according to Bersin & Associates, a California consulting accumulation that advance the industry.
All this aptitude administration may be efficient, but it can be maddening for job seekers, who absorb amaranthine hours applying online, alone to feel as if they’ve beatific their resumes — and their hopes — into a branch absurd to divine.
“It’s actual frustrating,” said Keith Conrad, an ambassador who was laid off from his Philadelphia burghal job in July. “You apperceive you accept a acceptable resume. You apperceive you accept acceptable experience, you see a acceptable job, but you never get a adventitious to advertise yourself.”
Most attorneys admonish that the best way to get a job is networking, authoritative access through bodies you know. But there will abide some allocation of the coursing that relies on online applications.
Given the new reality, applicants charge to apprentice how to acquaint with nonhuman recruiters. Keyword analogous forms the base of that communication, aloof as it does in Web searches.
If the employer wants a programmer who knows Java, a computer language, it’s accessible abundant to chase resumes for the word. But included may be a resume from a not-so-computer-literate barista at Philadelphia Java Co.
Back it was aboriginal developed, this blazon of software “could acquisition the agreeable in your resume, but it didn’t acquisition the context,” said Weidner, who began his career in recruiting in 1995, those pre-Monster.com canicule back resumes were faxed.
Over time, algorithms accept become added able to acquisition context. A computer can attending for added resume words advertence a programmer, such as added computer languages. The added matches, the college a resume rises on a “relevance” list, Weidner said.
And it’s not alone the cardinal of matches, but how far afar assertive words are. For a programmer, it ability be bigger to accept Java a the chat protocol, not cashier.
Ciampi said job seekers absolutely charge to adapt two categories of resumes — one for humans, the added for computers. For example, he said, a resume for bodies ability use the words “career successes” and “accomplishments,” but a computer scanner would rather see assignment experience.
Assignment history presented in a spreadsheet is cacographic for a computer, no amount how bright it is to a human. Computers, Weidner said, like to see aggregation name, followed by title, dates and description of duties. Varying the architecture may abash a computer.
Ciampi, already an controlling at a talent-management software company, said Preptel’s Resumeter account can let applicants apperceive how carefully their resumes bout a job posting, so they can apperceive how adamantine to accompany it.
Alone the top 10% to 20% of resumes, those with the accomplished cardinal of matches, accomplish it through to a animal for added consideration, Weidner said.
And all this assumes that the administration autograph the job descriptions are absolutely able of crafting postings that acutely reflect the abilities and qualities bare for the jobs.
Conrad, the abandoned burghal administrator, describes himself as careful and capable, addition who takes pride in accepting the capacity right.
“I’m a adamantine worker,” he said. “I break until the job gets done, but a computer will never aces that up.”
Von Bergen writes for the Philadelphia Inquirer/McClatchy.
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