From the Desk of Brad Smart:
Wall Street Journal on How to Game Your Resume

With Artificial Intelligence-assisted Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) vetting resumes, job hunters should understand how to construct a resume that will maximize their chances of actually talking with a human being. In May 2022, author Heidi Mitchell wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal, How to Make Sure Your Résumé Passes Muster With an AI Reader. Heidi presents very good, honest advice while providing insight that would enable not-so-honest job hunters to “game the system.”

The article shows a typical, but weak resume, and next to it a powerful resume, and shows 12 ways it was improved. Since AI tools look for keywords, the author shows many ways to use keywords (for example – include 10 words maximum, research the company for clues, start paragraphs with verbs to make keywords more credible) and to definitely not use them (cutting and pasting job ads, simply listing keywords).

The author says to be honest, but in doing so enables clever, dishonest ways to outsmart the bots. For example, she suggests googling “keywords for jobs in (logistics),” but that invites someone to include keywords dishonestly. She also suggests changing responsibilities to fit key words. Huh? So if a second grade teacher lists ‘Teacher’ as a job title, the author suggests, to get by the ATS, one might list, “created educational innovations” … but what if the teacher didn’t do that? Or, if you’re really clever, fill that white space at the bottom of your resume with the full job description in the ad – in white font so the ATS will see lots of keywords but maybe the human won’t.

I’d recommend her books to a job hunter but advise being smart, totally honest, and not including untrue statements.

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