Outsmarting sales CV filtering software

29 July 2020

By Ursula Colman

Outsmarting sales CV filtering software

You’ve spent time perfecting your CV, making sure it’s just right to get your dream job – but what if human eyes never see it? Recent evidence shows that over 70% of CV applications don’t make it past artificial intelligence (AI) filtering software. The use of AI is on the rise in the recruitment sector, and potential candidates are finding it harder each day to get their resumé in front of recruiters. But we’re here to help you beat the system, and get your sales CV in front of the right people, and to get you the right role.

What is CV filtering software?

Before we explain how to meet the criteria, you must first understand what it is you’re up against. When companies and recruitment agencies have multiple open positions, they can attract hundreds of applications in a short period – and as you can imagine, this is often too much for one person or a department to effectively manage.

Cue artificial intelligence.

The advancements of filtering software in recent years has enabled the use of applications to effectively find and select a few ‘cream of the crop’ candidates to interview for the role. These software applications are called many things, but some of the most common terms are Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and resumé screening software, and the more soulless names include resumé robots, and even automated resume rejecters.

What does CV filtering software look for?

Filtering software attaches a value of relevance to your CV, and the higher the score, the more likely your CV will progress to the next stage. Think of it like search engine optimisation – if you’re saying the right words for the right role, in the right sequence, you’ll get more hits and a better chance of your CV reaching a real person. For example, if you’re applying for a head of sales position, the terms ‘sales team’ or ‘managed sales teams’ will get score you extra points.

Here are some key things to remember when it comes to cracking the CV filtering criteria:

  1. Keywords are scored on the number of times they appear, so make sure you include as many as possible. And don’t be too brief or abrupt in your CV, but remember that it’s good to keep things simple and informative.

  2. When reading job ads, take note of their requirements, and make sure you have matching and relevant words in your CV. Helping the software to understand your skills will increase your score.

  3. Use common job title terminology. If your current company uses less typical roles such as “Commercial Manager” for a head of sales position, be sure to include the industry-recognised title in the body text of the role and/or in brackets next to the title.

  4. The software filters, but a human will programme it. Think about who will be setting the criteria for the programme, as they may not be an expert in your field, and will likely be using the ‘requirements’ section of the job description/advert as the basis for what the software should filter on.

Include these three types of keywords in your sales CV:

  • Keywords specific to the job

  • Sales Manager

  • Account Manager

  • Field Sales Manager

  • Area Sales Manager

  • Specific sales keywords

Keywords specific for the career choice

  • CRM

  • KPI’s

  • Sales targets

  • Business to business

  • People manager

  • Leads

  • Business development

  • Client visits

  • Channel sales

  • Salesforce

Keywords specific to the industry

  • SaaS

  • Electronics

  • Test and measurement

  • Hardware

  • Fintech

  • Software

  • Technology

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