The future of jobs is changing and so is the way you apply for those jobs.

6 years ago (a lifetime in technology) I wrote 14 tips to stand out when applying for a job. Well the way we apply for jobs and big data is changing the whole job seeker experience so here’s my latest tips:

Help the machines10 great tips when applying for jobs online

Computers and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are now doing a lot more of the screening and recommendations to companies of who they should employ.

  1. Create your ‘Machine CV’ | In the olden days when people used to spend 10 seconds skim reading CV’s it was all about standing out. Now almost every platform scrapes your CV and converts it to text so that AI can work its magic (Seek, TradeMe, coHired and most recruitment technologies do it.) Sadly your beautifully crafted, multi-column CV with info-graphics is not that helpful to AI.  The Solution: Have a Machine CV;
    • A well formatted single column CV in Word format (which currently gets the best results)
    • AI loves data, so time to add back in some of those words you’ve been deleting over the last few years. Particularly around the experience and responsibilities you’ve had. It will help you rank higher.
    • Keep pictures and images to a minimum.
  2. Answer Questions Honestly | More organisational science is being mixed with AI in the form of questions that are asked. If you want a job you love, answer them honestly. If AI thinks you are someone different to who you are, it will recommend you for jobs that won’t suit you.
  3. Respond Quickly | AI will process your information as soon as it is completed, no more waiting for a human. The sooner you get the information in, the quicker you will pop to the top of the list.
  4. Reference Checks | Your old managers are time poor and more reference checks are being done electronically. It’s now important to have both their email address and phone numbers. And AI is pretty good at spotting if you have provided dodgy referees by looking at IP addresses and domain names.
  5. Video Interviews | Both automated and human video interviews will continue to increase. Be prepared for them by making sure you are in a quiet space free from distraction. If it’s a 1 on 1 video call, make sure you are logged in and ready to go 5 mins early, so that you know the technology is working and you start relaxed.

Take advantage of Technology

Companies are using technology like crazy. You can too.

  1. LinkedIn Marketing | Is an opportunity to market yourself and to reach past technology directly to hiring managers. It’s never been easier to find out who key people are in an organisation to reach out and find out more about jobs. But be warned, find a relevant person in a relevant location and connect and ask some great questions. Reaching out to the CEO of Microsoft is not likely to get a result.
  2. Social Media Privacy | Public in social media means public. I personally can’t be bothered looking at your Facebook page, but many recruiters do, and more often technology grabs that data. So make conscious decisions about what is public and private across your social accounts.
  3. Job Data Privacy | You also get to control what happens to your data on job boards like Seek, Indeed, and Trade Me Jobs. Review it often if you are actively hunting for work and remove permissions when you are not.

Stay Human

You are human. You are beautifully uniquely you. Make sure you take every opportunity to show that.

  1. Create your ‘Human CV’ | Yes I know, I told you to have a Machine CV, but eventually you will meet a human, so have a great well-presented CV that appeals to them. They are great for making an impact by email or at interviews or even as supporting docs on platforms.
  2. Personalise your application | Take the time to investigate the company you are applying to. And craft your application specifically for the role and advert. Always put your best foot forward. When a human reviews what AI is suggesting they notice if you have put in the effort and personalised for their role and company. That goes a long way to making an impression pre-interview.

Will machines completely replace humans in the recruitment process? Yes & No

Yes – Some big companies already have systems that fully automate the process.
No – Most companies will have a bunch of tools that help automate the process and real humans talking with real humans.

The big question: If a company dehumanizes me in the recruitment process, will they genuinely care about me as a human being when I get the job?


PS: Agoge and coHired are amazing places to work. We love technology and love people. Check us out!