Technology has infiltrated just about every industry available and the recruitment arena is not one to be left by the wayside. While you may have visions of a hiring manager diligently sorting through the hundreds of resumes submitted for the position he advertised to find the perfect applicant, it very well may be a computer doing that work instead. Unless you understand how that computer thinks and sorts, your resume could end up in the virtual trash bin.The process of screening new job applicants can be very time-consuming and labor-intensive. For companies paying someone by the hour to do the work, that can add up to big bucks. In an attempt to streamline the process, many recruitment firms and private companies have turned to automated software systems to weed through the deluge of resumes their advertisements generate. This is typically done by scanning e-mailed resumes for key words and phrases or requiring an applicant to enter information on an electronic application on the company's Web site. With each method, sorting variables can be set to cull the cover letters and resumes and arrive at the best matches.

For anyone who has used a search engine, whether in a company-based computer program, when browsing the internet or in any other function, it's evident that mistakes do occur and sometimes just what you were looking for gets overlooked. The same can be said for automated resume scanning. That is why you have to tip the odds into your favor. Here's how:

€¢ In addition to having a succinct, well-written resume, it's important to be sure you are the right fit for the position. There's no room for ambiguity. You need to be a 95' to 100-percent match for a position, otherwise you're likely wasting your time in applying.

€¢ Pepper your resume and cover letter with the verbiage used in the job advertisement. It's safe to say that the language used in the ad probably includes some search terms programmed into the software to weed out applicants for a short list. So if the ad mentions "sales executive," be sure to repeat that phrase in your application.

€¢ You can also beef up your resume with other potential key words and phrases without making your application look like a word-search puzzle. Simply enter key words at the end of the document and select the words and color the font to "white" so that they will not appear when printed out or viewed on the monitor. This way the electronic "eye" will see them when sorting, but the human eye of a recruiter won't.

Of course there are ways to bypass the automated system altogether by contacting the hiring company and selling yourself in person or over the phone. This may entice a recruiter to keep an eye out for your application instead of handing it to the mercy of the automated system. But some companies just won't go for this. Also, if you truly believe yourself to be the perfect fit for a job, make a follow-up inquiry as to the status of your application. Explain your interest, why you are a good match and ask for feedback. At the least your name will be heard and your resume may be looked at.

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