SINGAPORE – Even though resume bots are usually used only for initial job screening, there are ways to optimise your curriculum vitae to increase your chances of selection by the bot in the initial round. Here are some tips:

1. Use the right keywords

Try to include keywords to match the job description that you are applying for, whether it is a specific job title or certain skills. If you are applying for the role of an administrative assistant, and you have been an administrative assistant before, ensure that the job title is in your resume. If the job description is looking for someone with knowledge of specific software, name that software in your resume.

2. Avoid marketing fluff

Trendy terms such as “self-starter” and “specialised” mean nothing to a bot. Instead, list specific results or skills to qualify your expertise. For instance, instead of claiming that you are “flexible”, say that you “covered shifts for colleagues in other departments to help keep operations running successfully”.

3. Stick to common category titles

It can be tempting to jazz up a resume with headings such as “life journey”, when the common category “work experience” would do just fine. A bot does not know what someone’s life journey means.

4. Avoid images

Charts and pictures look great to human eyes, but the bot will unlikely be able to process them. Even unusual fonts may not be readable.

5. Use the right file format

Instead of uploading the resume as a large image file, for example, keep it simple by saving it as a plain text document. Some bots cannot read PDF files either.

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