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Tag: Apply for Jobs

10 great tips when applying for jobs online.

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!

14 tips when applying for jobs from the business owner of a recruitment company

UPDATED: Feb 2019

While a lot of the below post still applies. Technology is changing how CVs and Data of Jobseekers is handled.

I’ve written an updated post »

10 great tips when applying for jobs online!



Having just spent an hour or two looking over applications for an internal role at agoge, I am compelled to share some hints about applying for jobs. They are just my perspective, from a guy who has been on the receiving end of literally 1000’s of CV’s and covering letters.


  1. I don’t read the whole CV. Not even close, I just skim read. If I’m really interested I might read more than 10%.
  2. As I skim read, I’m looking for fit into my business culture, as well as growth and learning and experience that could be portable into my business. You don’t have to have done the job, just show me you could do our job, in our context.
  3. Even though I don’t read your CV, bad speling and formatting jumps off the page.
  4. Most CV’s arrive electronically, make sure they are PDF that way your formatting looks the same to me, as it did when you sent it. PDF also saves me clicking 2 times to open your docx on my doc machine and I can read and highlight all over your PDF on my iPad.
  5. Computers have colour available. Yip, you can use graphics and colourful fonts and pictures to sell yourself. It might make me read more than 10%. It will definitely make you stand out from 99.99% of the other people. I’m serious in the latest 100+ CVs I’ve read, none have done a good job of that.

The cover letter

  1. Firstly all of our ads have a contact name. So “Dear Sir/Madam” is really not appropriate. I also doubt I will ever be a “Sir”.
  2. If we ask you to provide 2 great reasons why we should consider you. Then provide 2 great reasons, don’t just cut and paste your last letter.
  3. On that note, I frequently read other companies names instead of our company name in people’s letters. Oops … best you proof read it, or better still get someone else to proof read it.
  4. Make it obvious in the cover letter that you have checked out our website, or know about who we are. You can’t underestimate how excited we get about people who are excited about us.
  5. Your first two lines of any letter either scream “boring, stop reading me”, or grab our attention and draw us to read the rest of the letter. Make it the latter.

Other stuff

  1. I really like it when people take an interest in our jobs and our company before they apply. It stands out in their CV, their letter and gets my attention.
  2. Alexander Bell created these amazing things called Telephones. If we give you permission, pick up the phone and ask a couple of questions. You’re not likely to blow it, and I will remember your name. Therefore your CV moves up the pile because you showed initiative.
  3. I know a lot of companies will now only accept electronic CV’s. I don’t mind getting a physical colour, bound CV. Dress up, call in, ask for the person and just let them know you wanted to set a good impression and drop your CV in. It’s scary as anything, but this is about getting the job you want. This will move your CV up the pile.
  4. I really appreciate honesty. If you’re applying for a job that’s a stretch. Say so. We often keep hold of CVs we might be interested in later.

So these are my suggestions. Some people will pay a lot more attention to your CV, most I suspect don’t.

Listen to my ideas, or don’t. It’s up to you.

Unless of course you’re applying for a job with me.