How I Got Hired

123. Can the ATS help you land your Dream Job? Learn from Talent Acquisition Expert & Job Seeker Ally Ed Han

November 27, 2023 Sonal Bahl
How I Got Hired
123. Can the ATS help you land your Dream Job? Learn from Talent Acquisition Expert & Job Seeker Ally Ed Han
Show Notes Transcript

Join me from a LinkedInLive conversation on a perennially hot topic: the Applicant Tracking System. Let's learn with Ed Han, Wordsmith, Job Seeker Ally and Recruiter at Cenlar FSB. In this conversation from 2022, Ed and I talk about:

- What are some myths surrounding ATS's that we need to separate from facts?
- What does a job seeker need to know about ATS when sending a job application?
- What is it most recruiters wish people knew, before reaching out to them?

Follow Ed on  LinkedIn here.

----------------------------------------------------------

Liked this episode? A few things:

1. Share the podcast with three of your closest friends! And please leave a great review on Apple Podcasts here or Spotify here (tap on the three-dot menu under the cover art of the podcast) , as it would mean a lot to me and hopefully help others discover it.

 2. You will love my emails called Charge-Up! I send them every few weeks, they're no fluff no spam, where I share my favourite career insights from movies, TV shows, news and my own personal experiences, that I don't share anywhere else. Make sure you sign up here!  

3. Come hang out with me LIVE on LinkedIn and Youtube every Friday at 2 pm CET where I answer your questions and often bring in fab guests:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonalbahl/ 

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/SuperChargeYourself

4. Share your favourite takeaways and tag me on your Instagram and LinkedIn



***Announcement***
Sign up to the FREE career masterclass LIVE: 19th April 3 pm CET: https://www.superchargeyourself.com/career

Hey there! Welcome to the how I Got Hired podcast. I'm your host, Sonal Bahl, former HR director and founder of supercharge. And I've had an insane corporate career that started in India, then moved to South America and then to Europe, often working only in Spanish or French. Why do I call my career insane? Because while I've had the privilege of working across geographies and industries like consulting, mining, chemicals, food, telecom without a work visa, without any local network during big fat recessions, and often while being a new mom to one of my two kids, I've seen career heartbreak and multiple layoffs as well. As a career strategist, I strongly believe that a fulfilling career is a birthright and not a privilege for the lucky few who have access to prestigious education, capital and networks. I am now on a mission to democratize access to high value career advice by designing affordable digital courses with my YouTube channel. And yes, this podcast right here, where we learn together from ordinary people like you and me and how they created extraordinary career success.

*Sonal * (00:01:26) - Now let's get you ready to get supercharged. Let's go. We're going to talk about something that is the bane of existence of most job seekers, and that is the applicant tracking system or the ATS. Now there's a lot of myths around applicant tracking system. What is what is it, what isn't it. And it can get a pretty charged up discussion with many people. Emotions are on the rise when we are talking about ATS. The reason I bring Ed Horn is because he's one of the more measured voices, and Ed has worked with half a dozen ATS themselves, so he will be able to give us a pretty balanced view. Am I saying everything Ed says? You got to follow everything. Well, this is one perspective and I think it's a pretty balanced perspective. So without further ado, let's bring in Ed, welcome to Supercharge Fridays. Ed.

Ed (00:02:21) - Hey, good morning or rather good afternoon, Sonal, thanks very much for inviting me. I really appreciate the opportunity to talk about this really essential and top of mind topic for a lot of job seekers.

*Sonal * (00:02:32) - Absolutely. Ed. So without further ado, let's get into it. And before we do that, I know you're recruiting for the last ten years, but you weren't always recruiting. You're doing different things. Give us a teeny weeny like tunnel vision into your career backstory, of course.

Ed (00:02:46) - So one of the funny things is that if you talk with enough recruiters, eventually you will discover that we tend to come in two varieties the variety that got their freshly minted graduate degree a rather undergraduate degree, and then moved right into one of the major recruiting agencies such as Randstad and the like, and then got into it from there. And that has been all of their career thus far. Yes, yes. And then you have the other, other variety, which I represent, people who had done a bunch of other things and then came into recruiting afterwards. And that is, of course, me. So if you were to look up my LinkedIn profile, you will see that. Oh yeah. Sure. Ten for ten years I've been recruiting, but prior to that I did a whole bunch of other stuff.

Ed (00:03:38) - And I'm. And the simple truth is, there is no rhyme or reason to it. I did not intentionally set out on this path to say, okay, first I want to work in publishing, that I want to work in financial services, and then I want to move into a bunch of other industries that are utterly unrelated. There's absolutely no plan, no intentionality whatsoever to any of that. But what I have found is that this breadth of experience, this diversity of experience, has positioned me really well, I think, to be able to relate very powerfully and authentically with people from all different kinds of backgrounds. Yes. And so I found that a really powerful way of forging a rapport with the people that I want to engage with.

*Sonal * (00:04:21) - Love it, love it. So if anyone is unfamiliar with the ad, I highly recommend you follow him on LinkedIn. There's lots of helpful people on LinkedIn. I've had a lot of them on Supercharged Fridays, but there's very few who are as who give as much value in limited character space.

*Sonal * (00:04:42) - So someone will write like a 3000 character post on a very useful thing, and it is useful. It will take that exact same thing and he will put it in 20 words. So if you want like tweet type value coming from a recruiter who is intimately aware of what it takes to be in the job search and on both sides, definitely follow. Ed so Ed, let's get into it. Sure. You are the teacher today. We are all students. We have our post-its. We have our pens. What is the ATS? Okay, also what isn't the ATS right?

Ed (00:05:20) - So let's get into that. So ATS is an abbreviation for Applicant Tracking System. It is very simply software application that these days is cloud based. That surprisingly is designed to track applicants. So every ATS that I'm familiar with and you know, to be very clear, I have multiple times been involved in efforts to select and then implement an ATS. So I feel like I have a pretty good basis for making these kinds of statements.

Ed (00:05:55) - Yeah. They all offer certain features, right? They all offer the ability to collect resumes from people who apply for positions, right? They also offer the ability to have the actual jobs because you post them through the ATS quite often, and then you want to match the applicants to those things, right? But then there's two other features, and not all apps offer both of these. There's a third feature, which is a preliminary question that you can ask the applicants to answer. In the process of applying for the position. Right. And there's a fourth feature. And this is the one that most apps offer or rather many apps offer. And this is the thing I think that is misconstrued a lot. It doesn't. Rudimentary word matching between the text of the job description and the text of the resume. And it is really important to understand exactly what that means. Okay. Yeah. I want to proceed first into the preliminary questions. And then I'm going to get into the word matching okay. Okay.

Ed (00:07:08) - So at the end of the day, I think it's very important to understand that ultimately computers are stupid. They. They really.

*Sonal * (00:07:18) - Are. You just repeat what you did.

Ed (00:07:20) - Computers are stupid.

*Sonal * (00:07:21) - Computers are stupid, right?

Ed (00:07:23) - And I say that having been someone who is who has hired machine learning professionals. Okay, um. It is important to understand this because the computer only does what the program tells it to. Yeah, that's all it does.

*Sonal * (00:07:44) - It's a slave. It's a slave to our command.

Ed (00:07:46) - Exactly. It doesn't extrapolate. You know, we're having the hardest time teaching computers how to learn. That's why machine learning is such a big field in software development and software engineering, you know? But at the end of the day, it just following set of instructions. It's just zeros and ones, you know. So that's something really essential to understand. So the matching that we're talking about is does this word match any other word within this set of text. Now computers are brilliant absolutely brilliant at doing comparisons.

Ed (00:08:24) - They can do so much faster than you or I or any other human possibly could. Right. It's a calculation. That's what we designed them for. In fact, they used to call it a calculator. So that's all it's doing. So it's taking some of the rudimentary text that it's been told is important in the job description in some cases. And then matching it as the text that appears in the resume of the applicant or CV of the applicant. Excuse me. So, for example, let us say that the job posting is for a position called a project manager. Okay. And in the job description there might be text talking about milestones, timetables, budgets right projects, project plans, agile or waterfall methodologies or prints in the UK. Of course. Scrum.

*Sonal * (00:09:17) - Yeah yeah yeah yeah.

Ed (00:09:19) - Right. Scrum obviously. Yeah yeah yeah. So what it's doing is it's comparing those, those words and then comparing it against the text in the, in the document that the applicant has provided. Is there a high degree of match.

Ed (00:09:33) - Yes. That's great right. There is a higher likelihood that there's someone you want to talk with. That's that's what it's doing right.

*Sonal * (00:09:40) - That's what it's doing. And how does the computer know that those words are important?

Ed (00:09:46) - It will either infer based because most job descriptions will say qualification section and then we'll listen a bunch of stuff. Or in some cases there's actually the ability to say for this position, identify these particular terms, match on these things. This is what matters to me, you know, and those kinds of situations are where things can go awry if someone is not careful or they're selecting language that isn't necessarily broadly applied. Right. Um, for example, in the information security space, there is a term. Uh, gosh, it's gone right out of my head. Oh, blue team and the blue team and red team are very common in infosec and cybersecurity. Um. You want, and the job description is very likely. We'll talk about those things if you. But in your organization, would you have done this kind of work.

Ed (00:10:50) - You know, or if you've come out of, for example, the US military service where they're known where the intruding party is known as opt for. But you don't know about Red team, blue team language, then you've actually inadvertently harmed your chances of being a match. But here's the here's the big constraint on all of this, okay? And this is really important. Um. The big constraint is that. The so. So the ATS does this rudimentary text matching right. Yes. And it generates a percentage and displays to the recruiter looking at the at the applicants a certain percentage match. And usually it's not down to 1%. It's often oftentimes in buckets of 5% increments. Because who needs that level of granularity ultimately, right? Um, but there isn't a recruiter out there who depends on that percentage. Not a single one. Now, I network with a lot of other recruiters, a whole lot of them. And it's something that we all talk about periodically. Um, there is a recruiter out there who's been doing the job for a meaningful amount of time that looks at that and says, oh, this is important.

Ed (00:12:07) - I will rule out the people at less than X threshold. You know, and there's a couple of reasons for that. It doesn't make any. Number one, the language, as I spoke of earlier, like red team, blue team versus opt for is not sensible, right? This is nothing against the candidate. Doesn't mean that they don't have the experience. They just didn't use the right terminology. And that's not that doesn't mean they're not qualified in any way. Right. One of the other challenges though is and so I know you've seen this when someone submits a PDF document, right. But it's not a PDF that was converted from a word processor document, but rather a photograph or some other kind of image.

*Sonal * (00:12:56) - Right. Let's talk about that. Let's talk about the format, because that can trip up a lot of us. Is it a word doc. Is it ATS friendly. Then there will be a person or a factory that says, give me your money and I shall convert it into friendly resumé.

*Sonal * (00:13:12) - Talk to us about that.

Ed (00:13:16) - I want to be very deliberate in my speech here. I have many, many thoughts. So now many, many thoughts.

*Sonal * (00:13:22) - Please, this is the time you need to not censor yourself. Please don't.

Ed (00:13:27) - Um, I. I am frustrated when I see the expression beat the ATS because the ATS is not enough, is not an opponent to be defeated. It is in fact an ally and a powerful ally. It can be.

*Sonal * (00:13:47) - How can it be an ally? Sorry, I'm going to backtrack.

Ed (00:13:50) - No, not at all. Not at all.

*Sonal * (00:13:52) - I'm glad you're saying AGS is not your enemy. Actually, the ATS is your friend. That's what you're saying.

Ed (00:13:59) - It very much. Be your friend. It can very much be your ally. Um, and here's the trick. Okay, I got done saying five minutes ago that it's doing rudimentary word matching, right between what's in the career document and what's in the job description. Right. So isn't the logical implication that you should look at the qualification space of the job posting and make sure those words appear on your resume? Is that not a logical inference? I mean, it is.

Ed (00:14:32) - To me.

*Sonal * (00:14:34) - It sounds reasonable. Yes.

Ed (00:14:36) - So there's a challenge that I think some folks face because they tend to use the same career document. And then disseminated broadly all across town. And that is not a successful strategy, because you are never going to be seen as a strong match, because that is a tool, right? It says, hey, you want to talk to me now? It is helpful for the recruiter to see, oh, this person is a very strong match. And if that that text is present, that's excellent. Um. But again, not doing so doesn't harm your chances. It just doesn't. It just makes you stand out better from everybody else.

*Sonal * (00:15:26) - Isn't that the same thing though, Ed?

Ed (00:15:29) - Not exactly. Because there is a there is a fear of being rejected. Right. For not doing these things. And that is very much not the case. Right? But what I'm saying is, in order to differentiate yourself from everybody else, using the same language makes you stand out above and beyond from other people.

Ed (00:15:57) - So we're appealing to other opposite ends of the spectrum here. So no. You see what I mean?

*Sonal * (00:16:04) - Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I'm thinking. I don't know why I'm thinking of Jerry Maguire right now. Anybody watched Jerry Maguire the movie? Tom cruise, 1997? There's the scene in the Lou where he's talking to Cuba Gooding Junior. He's like, help me help you. Yeah. So it feels like the ATF is crying, like, help me to help you. And one of the ways you can do that is ensuring you are using the language that recruiters have posted in the job. Hiring managers have posted in the job description so that we have a match. You and I get along, and then I can show you to the right set of eyes. That's what you're saying. And if you don't do it, no problem. But why not? If there is a opportunity and it's been given to you on a platter, why not use it to stand out? That's what you're exactly.

Ed (00:16:51) - Exactly.

Ed (00:16:52) - I mean, it's a lot like when when you're in your when you're when you're in school, right? There's a syllabus in every class. Yes. Tells you here's how you succeed in this class.

Speaker 3 (00:17:06) - Yes.

*Sonal * (00:17:06) - Yes. The curriculum. Yes.

Ed (00:17:08) - It's very straightforward. Here are the criteria of and here are how your grade will be calculated. Do these assignments take these assessments. Complete your end of term project. This is how you succeed in the class?

Speaker 3 (00:17:23) - Yes. Right. Yes, yes.

Ed (00:17:25) - That's what the job description is. It is giving you the instructions for how do you succeed. How do you identify yourself as a strong candidate for the position? Okay.

*Sonal * (00:17:35) - Erica, who's a resume writer, right. She says incorporating the right keywords continues to be a struggle. Right. And why is this? Why is this so, Ed.

Ed (00:17:43) - There could be any number of reasons for this, and I. It could be simply lack of familiarity, right, with with how other employers perhaps might characterize certain things or what skill sets they they have.

Ed (00:17:57) - Right. It could be, particularly the case of career inventors just not knowing right now. So there's a knowledge gap. Yeah. It could just be not having looked at the and and really looked at what exactly is the hiring manager or the employer saying we want here.

Speaker 3 (00:18:18) - Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.

*Sonal * (00:18:21) - Got it, got it. So take the little bit of extra time to do that right. And it's definitely worth it. And Erica says its results can be a clue if you haven't self advocated it or if you haven't aligned yourself to the role. You really wasting your time and other people's time. You've got to make sure. And Sruthi says, do we align key responsibilities and respect to the job description of any job to get a higher matching rate?

Ed (00:18:50) - You know, that can be helpful. But certainly I also would like to point out that the match rate is not especially relevant. Okay. Please, please, if you take nothing away from what I've been saying.

*Sonal * (00:19:01) - Watch the replay. Shruti. Because Ed covered this earlier and you said you don't know a single recruiter and you know quite a few, who says I need a certain percentage and I'm going to be happy.

*Sonal * (00:19:11) - And what are your views, kind sir? Because this is also a controversial one. And I did a post on this a couple of months ago, and I got some hate.

Speaker 3 (00:19:20) - Especially especially.

*Sonal * (00:19:21) - From designers. Very touchy topic, one column or two column. Ed, what's your preference?

Ed (00:19:27) - I literally saw a Twitter thread about this just yesterday. No no lie, yesterday morning, about 24 hours ago about this very thing. I really don't object to two column resumes. I don't, because sometimes there's complex information. Sometimes you might do it in a way to and to be clear, what I traditionally see is when people present a list of skills or something of that kind. Right. A series of relatively short text that can be represented in this fashion. I'm good with that. I know that there are some people who really dislike it.

Speaker 3 (00:20:05) - Yes.

Ed (00:20:07) - But the challenge to me is that you is that not all apps will interpret that. Well, yes, that to me is a bigger challenge. So for example, if you create a table, for example in Ms. Word, Google Docs or whatever word processor you're using.

Ed (00:20:28) - I have seen a few ETS that will completely mangle that content because it's a table. By contrast, I have found that in Ms. Word and Google Docs files that if you use the column feature specifically, it tends to read just fine.

Speaker 3 (00:20:45) - Yeah. So.

Ed (00:20:46) - So be judicious in the formatting features you do and do not use.

*Sonal * (00:20:51) - Yeah. And I'm kind of thinking I don't know. This is a very complex analogy. I'm kind of thinking ed of someone you're like, oh, I know that they like ice cream. I'm going to bring ice cream, but should I bring like a, you know, chocolate chip mint with dulce de leche? Or should I bring vanilla? You want to play safe because you don't know how adventurous they are. Sometimes vanilla is not a bad thing, and for me, that can be a one column because one column is not like it will say, oh God, another one column won't say that, but there might be a recruiter who says that about two column.

Speaker 3 (00:21:25) - There might be.

*Sonal * (00:21:26) - Sense. Could be right.

Ed (00:21:28) - And again, the fact that it's 1 or 2 columns is, is a little bit challenging to because we all know we only know what the formatting feature is. We don't know what the content is that's being communicated.

*Sonal * (00:21:39) - Yeah. And you got to pay attention to the content. Yes, to the format of course, but play it safe if you want to. If you don't, if you're in doubt, stick to a one column. If you want to put two columns. Not always sure if it's parsed by the ETS, but what you're saying is add those little, little things like skills or, you know, some qualifications that you those little pieces of text can you're okay with that coming in.

Speaker 3 (00:21:59) - Yeah, absolutely. Separate column.

*Sonal * (00:22:00) - All right. Fantastic. She says can you please throw some light on what kind of keywords should a candidate absolutely avoid?

Ed (00:22:10) - Please, in the name of all that is good and decent, do not. Do not call yourself passionate.

*Sonal * (00:22:18) - Passionate.

Speaker 3 (00:22:18) - Ooh!

Ed (00:22:21) - A detail oriented or attention to detail. Okay. Oh, gosh. What's the other one?

Speaker 3 (00:22:31) - Hard working. Hard working.

Ed (00:22:33) - Oh, gosh. Yes, yes. Please don't. Please don't say these things.

*Sonal * (00:22:39) - And why? And why is that it?

Ed (00:22:42) - Um, because in there are 9999 out of 1000 resumes in CVS. Everyone says that they are. That space is better used for other things that really communicate. What is part of your unique value proposition? Yes. You know.

Speaker 3 (00:22:59) - Yes.

Ed (00:23:00) - If everyone is saying it, then there's no sense in saying it, right? Yes, I breathe oxygen. Well, great. So is everyone listening?

*Sonal * (00:23:10) - Okay. I'm glad you asked. Silica. Do not use these. There can be some which are less nuanced. They're more subtle, right? Do not use buzzwords and do not stuff buzzwords into one limited space. Thinking it's going to help you to stand out. Computer doesn't care two hoots. And in all that is like you said, for for the life, for the love of God.

*Sonal * (00:23:34) - Don't. Don't do it. Why? Everyone does it. You're not doing yourself any, any, any favors. If you don't remember anything, please remember this and take it away as well. And Craig says, you've got to use the same language. Yeah, I call it the Jedi Mind trick, and he's Star Wars fans hear you use their language. They can already imagine you working with them and all those nice like, you know, positive thoughts. And it's not perfect. It's human beings. Right. And they make decisions based on that. All right. Azhar Deen says do ATS filter applications based on the location on the CV.

Ed (00:24:11) - They don't typically know. When you submit your career document for an application, it'll record that information, but it typically does not. Um, it typically does not do anything with your location information. Now, to be clear, that is a capability that I think some ATS might support. For example, mine is set to reject anyone who's not in the US.

*Sonal * (00:24:39) - Yes, that's. Is that going to be in the knockout or is it already set for rejection?

Ed (00:24:45) - Mostly it's it's it should be at the knockout. But not everyone. Not every feature offers the knockout option. So they might set this up in in a different way. Okay.

*Sonal * (00:24:58) - Okay. All right. Fantastic. So this is what I do, but do you have any tips for someone who's starting from scratch and they're thinking, how do I keep it ready for. Because we already said there's no such thing as beating the ideas. But what's your favorite tip to just, like, get started thinking about the 80s?

Ed (00:25:16) - My absolute favorite is number one. You will have a core fundamental baseline career document, right? Whether we call it a resume or a CV. Yes, yes. Second. Make a master list of all of the accomplishments, the powerful stuff that you've delivered, the results you gave in your career. Three to to tailor your resume or CV really efficiently. Mix and match these bullets and add them to the CV or resume as appropriate to match whatever the job description is talking about.

Ed (00:25:57) - You know, for example, I have an accomplishment from some some years ago where I was was able to have a budget that we had for an expense and ongoing expense. I produced a year and your savings of half $1 million. I'm very proud of that accomplishment.

Speaker 3 (00:26:12) - Yes, but.

Ed (00:26:14) - It doesn't speak to anything related to my job as a recruiter, so I don't use it any longer.

Speaker 3 (00:26:18) - Yes, yes.

*Sonal * (00:26:21) - All right, um, you ask one question. Uh, you got you got one question. You got, you got three responses. Make your basic career document, make a master file which is full of achievements. And the third thing you said, Ed, was, um, match these two. To reopen to the open to the to the posting.

Speaker 3 (00:26:48) - Yep.

*Sonal * (00:26:49) - All right. Fantastic. Love it. Such a good reminder. We have advanced resume writers watching. But everybody needs to be reminded on these things. And Ken says yeah, you know proper font, proper size, everything else.

*Sonal * (00:27:02) - Do you think that makes a difference here? Ed for the.

Speaker 3 (00:27:05) - ATS?

Ed (00:27:06) - It can. I would point out that sometimes with certain ATS, um, what they will do is they'll simply take the text of the ATS and import it into the database, rather than storing the original doc, doc, or PDF document, they'll strip out the content. And incorporate that. And when they do that, they basically convert it into a text file. So sometimes and this is not true of all this to be very clear. But this is also a complete black box to you. So all that careful kerning and all those careful word selections to to make sure your page break happens at the right place could be lost. You know, and frankly, you would not know which is which.

*Sonal * (00:27:55) - Yeah yeah yeah. Exactly exactly. Hence avoid like a here says in Toronto avoid fancy pictures, tables, personal details and header and footer simply because you just, you know want to play it safe. And Erica says result oriented is the worst.

Speaker 3 (00:28:13) - Oh gosh.

Ed (00:28:14) - Erica thank.

Speaker 3 (00:28:15) - You.

Ed (00:28:15) - You are so.

Speaker 3 (00:28:16) - Right. Oh.

*Sonal * (00:28:17) - Result oriented and work well with others. Listen, if you're watching this right now and you're feeling bad, like our our objective here is not to make you feel bad, but real lies that if others are doing it, this is a great time to stop. And, you know, use other words if you're as opposed to, you know, Craig, very true what you're saying. Instead of telling, why don't you show it and show it with examples. If your result oriented, show the examples that you're actually result oriented. I have very hot questions here. A couple of them. I'm going to take a couple of them because we're taking up Ed's time. It's morning for him. And in New York new Jersey s'agit o ed pdf or word to most recruiters care do ATS care?

Ed (00:29:03) - Short answer. Yes, I don't care. Can I read the document? Is the content interesting and relevant to the job? That's what I care about.

*Sonal * (00:29:12) - That's what you care about. But do most the half a dozen places that you worked with, do they? That doesn't matter over there.

Speaker 3 (00:29:19) - However, okay.

Ed (00:29:20) - However, because because there is a bit of a caution on it, there are external recruiters who really want the word document.

*Sonal * (00:29:31) - Externally because they want to format it in their own.

Speaker 3 (00:29:34) - Style so they can.

Ed (00:29:35) - Send the blinded version to the client. Yes, yes.

*Sonal * (00:29:39) - That's why did you say blinded version. So for sometimes for de so diversity like oh will they care if it's a woman, if it's this particular race because this name is exotic. Let me take it out. Are you talking about that.

Ed (00:29:53) - I am not oh, I'm referring to when an external recruiting agency presents a candidate to their client so they conceal the information so that it's not so the client can't go around and get that person.

*Sonal * (00:30:07) - Client can sneak around and contact the person on LinkedIn on their own, and then the recruiter loses the feast. No. That's fair. I've seen that happen all the time.

*Sonal * (00:30:14) - All right. That's why that's that's why. And the second other reason that I mentioned, which is more sensitive, those are typically the two reasons why a word document is is preferred. All right. Fantastic. But if you send a PDF and person says can I have a word document. That's absolutely you have a word document. If you have sent a PDF. All right. So is asking what are um now this is not the human side of things but the 80s, right? Obviously the has been fed by a human. But are gaps viewed with certain biases by the ATS? Has it been fed that? Have you seen that happen?

Ed (00:30:52) - I've never seen that happen. Honestly, it's a good question to ask because obviously the world is moving towards more automation, but I don't think I've witnessed this level of automation happen ever. And certainly right now what I've observed is that the hiring market is so red hot that people are much more tolerant of of of gaps, where in the past they have been less so.

Ed (00:31:17) - Yes. And especially right now during the entering our third year of a global pandemic. Right? Yes. Wherever.

*Sonal * (00:31:26) - Can you believe.

Speaker 3 (00:31:27) - That?

Ed (00:31:27) - I really can't, and I horrified myself by just saying it. Yes, but the truth is, a lot of people have career gaps right now for that reason. And I think a lot of people are much more sensible and receptive to that sort of thing than they have been in in 2019.

*Sonal * (00:31:44) - Certainly, yes. It's a hot market right now. What Ed said I interviewed a podcast guest yesterday for recruiting. I'm hearing crazy stats. Recruiters are getting like, people are fighting for recruiters right now, and somebody got a sign on bonus of $100,000.

Speaker 3 (00:32:01) - To to sell our story to.

*Sonal * (00:32:03) - They're not fact fiction. This is facts, right? Sorry. Were you saying something? No.

Ed (00:32:08) - I'm agreeing.

*Sonal * (00:32:09) - So my point is, when there's a hot market for recruiters, it means the hiring market is hot. The bubble is not going to live. It's not going to.

*Sonal * (00:32:18) - It's not going to be like this forever. So make hay while the sun shines. The point is, if somebody is, you know, looking at it with a magnifying glass because you have a gap in your resume and they start asking weird questions, don't worry, just broaden your horizons. Talk to other places because it's not the worst thing in the world. In fact, it's so common to see people with gaps on their resume tells you a little bit about the culture as well, and any online resources where you can check before you send it to the recruiters. I can think of job scan.

Ed (00:32:47) - I was that's the only one I thought of.

Speaker 3 (00:32:50) - So no. Yeah, yeah.

Ed (00:32:51) - Great resource.

*Sonal * (00:32:52) - Yeah. Um, Shree, Harsha and Mohnish. So check out job scan. Go. They have a free resource there where you can do a little bit of matching as well. For the takeaway, I'm going to ask you something.

Speaker 3 (00:33:07) - Sure.

*Sonal * (00:33:07) - The what is it that you wish and a lot of recruiters wish people knew before they reached out to people like you, because you guys have a lot of access to a lot of positions, but you see this happening maybe every day.

*Sonal * (00:33:20) - And you wish people knew this more.

Speaker 3 (00:33:22) - Yes.

*Sonal * (00:33:23) - I'm sure you could.

Speaker 3 (00:33:24) - Read a book every day.

Ed (00:33:26) - Um, I think I recall seeing two such requests this morning. Um. Hey, listen, here's the simple truth about recruiters. The vast majority of us are in this business because we genuinely like people. You cannot possibly do this job without genuinely liking people. That is a fundamental truth, and most of us really, really want to help. Yes. Um. However, there's an awful lot of us. And we all, for the most part, specialize in particular areas. Um. You should be able to tell what areas the recruiter specializes in. For example, most of the requirements I tend to work on are technology related. So I will see like database administrators or, or systems engineers, software developers, and even technology adjacent like business analysts and project managers. And those are the things I'm familiar with seeing. But. I cannot help someone who is, for example, a SAS account executive.

Speaker 3 (00:34:38) - Yes.

*Sonal * (00:34:40) - But that that tells you that the person didn't do their basic, basic homework.

Ed (00:34:46) - Well, I would rather present it as help me, help me help you.

*Sonal * (00:34:52) - It comes back to Jerry Maguire. Be like Jerry, right?

Speaker 3 (00:34:56) - It's.

*Sonal * (00:34:57) - Go ahead.

Ed (00:34:58) - I was just going to say, look, most of us tell you what our areas of focus are.

Speaker 3 (00:35:02) - Yes, yes.

Ed (00:35:03) - You know, and it's important to understand that you see who our employer is and who it is we that we recruit for. For example, I'm a corporate or internal recruiter. I only have positions that my employer has available. I cannot give you insight or present you for a position outside of this space, within our industry, within our within our footprint where we have locations, you know. So as much as I want to help that edtech veteran, I can't offer meaningful guidance because I don't know the space. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (00:35:39) - Understood.

Ed (00:35:40) - You know, and I just I wish that it was that more recruiters made it obvious what our areas of focus are, because it would help everyone so much more if that was clear and evident.

*Sonal * (00:35:53) - Okay. Love it. Fantastic. I'm so glad you mentioned this ad, because you're not the first recruiter I've had on the show, and this is the point that has been repeated before. It just goes to show. And you're saying something happened this morning. It's like we we started at 7:45 a.m. for you. So the morning is like really early and yet you've already got two such requests. Um, I had Arpad, who's a Hungarian recruiter based in the UK, and he said, I look at heavy manufacturing, transportation. I had Jack Kelly. He said I'd look at compliance recruiting. I had similarly international roles focus on what they do and see how they could help you, but it's like going to a specialist who is a skin doctor and asking them about, you need help with yours, right? You need to go to an inventory specialist, you know, as opposed to a dermatologist. So it's just the same with recruiters and people. They usually have a specialization. Fantastic. Thank you so much for that.

*Sonal * (00:36:50) - This was really useful. Quick recap. We talked about what the is. What are some myths we talked about. What does the job seeker need to know? Something to be careful of. We talked about knock out questions. That was the hot one today as well as what the matching actually looks like. So definitely watch the replay because it put on his teacher pants and walked into it like step by step. What are those exact knock out questions? Because keep in mind, computers are stupid, right? They're great at matching. They're brilliant at matching, but they only do what humans tell them to do. And I think this is a great way to summarize the is your friend, not your enemy. So work to make it your friend and help it to help you. And I want to thank you so much for being with us today, and for all your guidance and support.

Ed (00:37:36) - Thanks for having me. So now.

*Sonal * (00:37:38) - Hey there, thank you for taking the time to listen to today's show. If you loved it, please do leave me a review on Apple Podcasts.

*Sonal * (00:37:46) - I searched high and low to bring you the very best guest, and I'm so proud to bring you their stories and game changing career lessons. The best compliment that you could ever give me is taking a screenshot of today's episode and sharing it with your LinkedIn network, and tagging me at Sonal Bell as well. Be all right. I look forward to spending time together on the next episode of the how I Got Hired podcast. Take care of yourself and bye for now.