Making Sure Your Resume Gets Read by a Human


Hi all,

I’m excited to be blogging with Career Services! I’ve always enjoyed writing, so this is an amazing opportunity. So as we start off,  a bit of background about me. I’m a U3 Geography major and Environment minor with a passion for the outdoors and ice cream. I’m hoping to be helpful by writing about career options.

One thing I have learned is that there are a tremendous number of jobs out there, so I’m sure what I will cover will be a drop in the bucket. I’m keen to learn about what McGill grads do post university, how professionals found themselves in their current role, and what their day-to-day work is like in different occupations. I am also happy to share what I learn along the way! So far, that includes a tidbit about the importance of resumes being readable by artificial intelligence.

Apparently, in an increasing number of cases, companies are using AI to comb through applications in connection with the explosion of the internet. Here are a few key tips that I’ve learned so far. The first recommendation is to use key words from the job posting and company website. This is done so that when AI is scanning through resumes, yours will hopefully be selected as being more relevant. Ideally, a human would then read it and see that you are a “good fit” and have done your “homework.” It also shows genuine interest. A facet of customizing your resume is to know your audience. For example, in some countries, it is popular to add a photograph to resumes; however, in this country that can cause issues by throwing off the software searching for ideal applicants.

Another key to success that I’d like to emphasize is the importance of confidence and selling yourself. You may know that you are a hard worker, kind, or highly skilled; however, your potential employer does not yet know this. Your resume is a chance to display these traits, mold how you would like to be perceived, and a chance to display your skills. For example, by having correct grammar and spelling, you show the reader that you have attention to detail. It is also important to spell out the value you can bring to the prospective company via successful projects and skills. This offers concrete examples of when you have had successes and added value to your company or school. The final piece of advice that I have commonly seen relayed is to break your resume into clear sections so that AI can skim it easily.  Otherwise, a human may not take a look at it. Finally, I want to end this blog by wishing you luck!

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