Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join us as we talk about…

In this week’s episode…

  • You’ll learn why you need to remove all dates from your resume
  • Next, you’ll learn 4 tips on how to simplify your resume to pass AI
  • Finally, you’ll learn that its not what you add to your resume to help you through AI, it’s what you remove

I have academics gape at me when I tell them to deprioritize their academic job titles or irrelevant business job titles on their resumes and to remove all dates. They can’t believe it. Look, I tell them, this is called the functional resume and it’s been around for decades. You need a simpler resume than ever before to get through today’s overly stringent Artificial Intelligence (AI) resume screening tools.

Remember, these are screening tools meant to screen out as much as possible even if good resumes are screened out. They’re not “selecting” tools looking for the best resumes. So what should you do to get past today’s AI.

First, use clear and consistent formatting. Simplify your resume by using a clean, easy-to-read font and maintaining consistent headers, bullet points, and spacing throughout. Avoid complex formatting, such as tables, columns, or excessive use of colors, as AI may struggle to interpret these elements correctly.

Second, optimize keywords. 0.5% to 2% keyword density is the best. That means on a 550 keyword resume, which is the industry average, include a two word keyword, like the job title itself, “project management” twice in your resume. That’s 4 words divided by 550, which equals 0.7%. Use it 3 times to reach 1.1%. Make sure you’re using industry-specific terminology and phrases that align with the job requirements.

However, ensure that your keywords flow naturally within your resume and don’t compromise readability. Most importantly, include ONLY relevant information. Simplify your resume by focusing on the most relevant information. Tailor your content to emphasize your skills, experiences, and achievements that align with the job you’re applying for. Remove irrelevant details, such as outdated certifications or unrelated hobbies, to streamline your resume’s content. Keep your descriptions concise and to the point, highlighting quantifiable accomplishments where possible.

Fourth, use a standard resume structure: Contact Information: Name, phone number, email, and LinkedIn profile. Professional Summary or Objective Statement: A brief summary of your career goals and qualifications. Work Experience: A chronological list of your relevant work experiences, including job titles, companies, dates of employment, and bullet points detailing your responsibilities and achievements. Education: Your educational background, including degrees, institutions, and graduation dates. Skills: A concise list of relevant skills, both hard and soft. Honors, Awards, Certifications, and Hobbies. Finally, Avoid Graphics, Dates and Unusual Fonts.

While dates are important once you get the interview, you won’t get through the AI to get an interview if your dates have gaps, crossover or are too old. You can always email the hiring manager your chronological resume after your simplified resume makes it through the AI. Likewise, while creative resumes may catch the eye of human recruiters, AI screening tools are more likely to misinterpret graphics, unusual fonts, or complex design elements.

Simplify your resume by sticking to a traditional, text-based format. Use standard fonts like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman, and avoid decorative fonts or symbols that may confuse AI systems.

Overall, don’t fall into the trap of thinking comprehensiveness is what will get you into the hands of employers. It’s not what you add to your resume as much as it’s what you subtract from it that will help you get through today’s AI.

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