10 great tips when applying for jobs online.

The future of jobs is changing and so is the way you apply for those jobs.

6 years ago (a lifetime in technology) I wrote 14 tips to stand out when applying for a job. Well the way we apply for jobs and big data is changing the whole job seeker experience so here’s my latest tips:

Help the machines

Computers and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are now doing a lot more of the screening and recommendations to companies of who they should employ.

  1. Create your ‘Machine CV’ | In the olden days when people used to spend 10 seconds skim reading CV’s it was all about standing out. Now almost every platform scrapes your CV and converts it to text so that AI can work its magic (Seek, TradeMe, coHired and most recruitment technologies do it.) Sadly your beautifully crafted, multi-column CV with info-graphics is not that helpful to AI.  The Solution: Have a Machine CV;
    • A well formatted single column CV in Word format (which currently gets the best results)
    • AI loves data, so time to add back in some of those words you’ve been deleting over the last few years. Particularly around the experience and responsibilities you’ve had. It will help you rank higher.
    • Keep pictures and images to a minimum.
  2. Answer Questions Honestly | More organisational science is being mixed with AI in the form of questions that are asked. If you want a job you love, answer them honestly. If AI thinks you are someone different to who you are, it will recommend you for jobs that won’t suit you.
  3. Respond Quickly | AI will process your information as soon as it is completed, no more waiting for a human. The sooner you get the information in, the quicker you will pop to the top of the list.
  4. Reference Checks | Your old managers are time poor and more reference checks are being done electronically. It’s now important to have both their email address and phone numbers. And AI is pretty good at spotting if you have provided dodgy referees by looking at IP addresses and domain names.
  5. Video Interviews | Both automated and human video interviews will continue to increase. Be prepared for them by making sure you are in a quiet space free from distraction. If it’s a 1 on 1 video call, make sure you are logged in and ready to go 5 mins early, so that you know the technology is working and you start relaxed.

Take advantage of Technology

Companies are using technology like crazy. You can too.

  1. LinkedIn Marketing | Is an opportunity to market yourself and to reach past technology directly to hiring managers. It’s never been easier to find out who key people are in an organisation to reach out and find out more about jobs. But be warned, find a relevant person in a relevant location and connect and ask some great questions. Reaching out to the CEO of Microsoft is not likely to get a result.
  2. Social Media Privacy | Public in social media means public. I personally can’t be bothered looking at your Facebook page, but many recruiters do, and more often technology grabs that data. So make conscious decisions about what is public and private across your social accounts.
  3. Job Data Privacy | You also get to control what happens to your data on job boards like Seek, Indeed, and Trade Me Jobs. Review it often if you are actively hunting for work and remove permissions when you are not.

Stay Human

You are human. You are beautifully uniquely you. Make sure you take every opportunity to show that.

  1. Create your ‘Human CV’ | Yes I know, I told you to have a Machine CV, but eventually you will meet a human, so have a great well-presented CV that appeals to them. They are great for making an impact by email or at interviews or even as supporting docs on platforms.
  2. Personalise your application | Take the time to investigate the company you are applying to. And craft your application specifically for the role and advert. Always put your best foot forward. When a human reviews what AI is suggesting they notice if you have put in the effort and personalised for their role and company. That goes a long way to making an impression pre-interview.

Will machines completely replace humans in the recruitment process? Yes & No

Yes – Some big companies already have systems that fully automate the process.
No – Most companies will have a bunch of tools that help automate the process and real humans talking with real humans.

The big question: If a company dehumanizes me in the recruitment process, will they genuinely care about me as a human being when I get the job?

Do you trust me?

“Do you trust me?” I was asked with absolute sincerity.

It’s a huge question because trust binds all relationships together.

“Do you trust me?” is not a simple question, and in the years since I’ve come to realise that trust is made up of three things:

  • Trust what I say
  • Trust what I do
  • Trust what I value

Trust what I say:
This is all about truthfulness, and the ability to believe that this person is telling you the truth and that you can rely on their word.

When the person asked if I trusted them, my answer was 100% yes, because time and time again they had proved themselves truthful. But what they were really asking was do you trust what I do?

Trust what I do:
This is about trusting the persons decisions and actions. A person can be 100% truthful, but we are not sure about some of the decisions they make and we struggle to trust them in those areas.

Trusting what people do takes time and is complicated. We can trust a person will make the right decisions in most areas, and then question the decisions when they are given new responsibility, as we watch to see if they adapt to the new challenges.

Trust what I value:
When we value different things, and they are not discussed, then it can cause us to feel like we don’t trust each other, despite the fact we trust what they say and do. The challenge with trusting what we each value, is that we don’t generally do the hard work to understand each other’s values.

With one of my new direct reports, we worked out my value of ‘freedom’ was at odds with his value of ‘structure’. Neither of these values is wrong, but if we hadn’t noticed it and named it, then as we work together we could have begun to wonder if we could trust each other.

Nothing will kill connection, dampen joy or increase stress in any relationship more than where I fail to trust or unintentionally make people feel untrusted.

When we find that we are struggling to trust a person, dive in and ask…

Do I trust what they say?
Do I trust what they do?
Do I trust what they value?

Then go and have a sincere truthful conversation with them.

Because relationships are built on trust, and they are worth the effort.

Compassion is the only acceptable response

Disappointed? Yes.    Appalled? Often.   Outright angry? Sadly.

This describes some of my emotions as I’ve read various opinions in the weeks following the Christchurch mosque shootings. Christians up in arms about the call to prayer; a Hamilton City Councillor suggesting we “move on”; criticism of wearing the hijab; Katie Hopkins ranting from the other side of the world; and off course Destiny church protesting across the road from the mosque.

Before you think I’m about to question your beliefs or opinions I’m not … so relax.

So, why was I disappointed, appalled and angry?

Because these comments aren’t what compassion looks like in action. Or what love does.

Compassion and love are so much more than pity or sympathy or even empathy.

  • Pity:   I can see you are suffering.
  • Sympathy:   I care about your suffering.
  • Empathy:   Me Too – I feel your suffering and grieve with you.
  • Compassion:   I’m here with you, beside you, ready to help. “You are us.”

So what does aroha or love in action look like?

Hint: Having all of the above!

Yesterday President Trump said he had the “deepest sympathies” for the most recent synagogue shooting in the US. Compare that to how Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responded. She acted with kindness and compassion and love and aroha. She showed love to the people directly affected and demonstrated compassionate leadership to the rest of us. If I was a victim connected with that horrible day I’d have wanted more than pity or sympathy or empathy. I’d have wanted the Prime Minister to show compassion and love.

Which is why I’ve been disappointed, appalled and angry.

Because compassion should always be our response. And if we can’t or aren’t prepared to really show compassion, probably best we shut up, keep our opinions to ourselves and stop criticising the people who are.

Action speaks loudly!

NB: At best I had empathy. Which is a challenge to me in and of itself.