One of my friends Daniel Statham, who is a hiring expert described the ideas of Applicant prescreening process by giving example of his own company and stated that the candidates who passed through the screening procedure would be short listed for next stage as compare to those who are screened out. As there are many companies sort out the right candidates for the job interviews, they use many screening products and services that are tailored for those firms. One of the issues with the hiring firms was the large number of job postings by job candidates once jobs are advertised in the market. The job market is competitive by its own nature and candidates who do not pass through the screening procedures cannot make it to later stages of interview.
One of the technologies that is being frequently implemented by the hiring companies is Keyword Search. By storing CVs and covering letters in the scanned forms in their internal databases, managers search for right candidates by matching the desired key words with the number of stored CVs in their system.
Candidates do not normally know whether their CVs would be searched for key words first before any job interviewing process starts. But as firms have their own search engines on web, every time a candidate registers with the website and applies for job categories by posting his CV, they store the information in their databases.
The question arises how we would know the keywords search play a role for the jobs we are applying for. The first step is to find the keywords which are important for us. One of the ways is to find them out the job ads which we saw in the newspaper or on web. Make a list of keywords that describes required job duties and different requirements. Paying attention for different strings of words for a specific job category e.g. if Accountants required with specific duties. Keywords could be: Junior accountant, Tax accountant, financial accountant, accountant, Cost accountant or Financial Analyst. There is a tricky way to include keyword list in the MS Word based CV which could be easily recognized in the search engine and does not make bad impression on CV either. After creating separate section for keywords, immediately after that include some key words which we would think are important for searches. Then highlighting all of the items and changing their font color to white would hide them from the screen, although they are still part of document and can still be searched.
Questionnaires are used when companies want to know what particular set of skills, education and experience for a job advertised. Usually when we apply on a job site like Monster or Hot jobs we see that they require a questionnaire to be filled before the process could proceed further. Giving descriptive and accurate answers increase the possibility of getting interview calls.
Old fashion managers still read the Resumes as it is worthy to get all details for a candidate with a single piece of document. But the first third part of Resume is a distinctive place as it gets most attention of the reader. For this key reason key skills, experiences or major achievements should be the first third part of first page of CV.
Another thing to keep in mind is the timing of sending the CV as first come CVs are served first