When it comes to your job search, screeners are the first lines of defense you have to get through on the way to your first interview. And hopefully a job offer. There are three basic types of screeners: human resume screeners, automated resume screeners and phone screeners.
Automated resume screeners are computerized. When you submit your resumes online, the company stores them in a database (like a big file cabinet). And then they search the submitted resumes to match them to current job openings.
Sometimes, the resumes are saved even beyond the current opening for future needs. But here’s the part that most people don’t think about: Someone has to program keywords and key phrases into the computer so it can do a resume search and screening.
Unfortunately, that can lead to some good people being missed out on completely. And maybe a better chance to be found (and called in) for people who play the keyword “game” well.
As much as they can do, computers just can’t figure out the perfect candidates without human help – at least not yet. And not everyone picking the keywords or phrases knows how to optimally use them.
So the results can leave out some great candidates. Especially if the person selecting the keywords makes the criteria too narrow or limited. Or misses the mark completely.
Unfortunately, many keywords are chosen using SOTP (seat of the pants) methodology. And some people are better at it than others. So you may as well check this out so you can use them to your advantage.
If you want to suggest changes to this or any other definition in our career dictionary, feel free to add your suggestions in a comment.
[Article updated in 2020]
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