Category Archives: What’s Good 206

Battling the bots: Finding a job in the digital era

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KCTS 9’s What’s Good 206
December 6, 2016

This morning, I woke up to another email with another job rejection. It’s a regular occurrence these days, but this one I found particularly defeating. I had only applied to the job 14 hours earlier — at 6:00 p.m. the prior evening.

Did anyone read my application? My cover letter? Did anyone glance at my resume?

Probably not, unless they have staff working nights, sifting through applications. This company, like many others, likely has an electronic filtering system — an algorithm — that sorts the “unqualified” from the rest of the pack, then sends applicants a near-immediate rejection email.

The process of finding and applying for jobs has transformed in the wake of electronic filtering systems. Job-seekers scramble to cater their resumes and cover letters to these systems, carefully selecting keywords and phrases that satisfy the robots. The days of human recruiters spending hours sifting through “resume books” on college campuses to find their top candidates are over.

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