Writing Resumes for Robots

Reality check: the future is already here. A robot will accept, parse, and pass judgment on your resume. A robot may generate questions and judge your answers. A robot may request a video resume and somehow process it to judge your suitability.

If you're trying to beat the odds by using lots of keywords to get past the robot, you might as well go to the race track and bet on yesterday's races.

Don't try to trick the robot. Instead, shake hands with it. Help it become proud for having found someone so suitable for the job at hand.

Another reality check: not all robots are alike, and their brains have unintended biases. You may exclaim, "It sounds like a maze on a minefield in a monsoon! What's an applicant to do?"

Simply put, you do the work. It's not microbiology. It can be easy, relax. Start with the checklist below and customize it to your needs.

10-Point Checklist

Get the job description. Use the unique terms it uses for that job and that industry.

Use the most relevant of these terms in the descriptions of your most recent jobs.

Help the robot estimate your years of experience with a specific skill by listing that skill in the job descriptions, which have start dates and end dates.

Use an easy-to-parse format, such as: Summary or Objective followed by Experience and Education in reverse chronological order.

If you include an Objective, include the name of the company you are applying to.

Play it safe: spell out acronyms before you use them. Brevity can leave the robot guessing.

If you are given the option, submit a Word document, with no headers, footers, tables, text boxes, or images.

Quantify accomplishments with actual numbers for time, people, money, and percent change.

Itemize skills by name; do not summarize by category. ("R, Python, Tableau" not "analytics programming")

Seriously consider trusting an advisor such as ResumeWriters.com.

Beware: Sneaky robots will find your most embarrassing social posts. Clean up your past, or your future may be a mess. (Danger, Will Robinson!)