With a new season of Wharton recruiting beginning, students will need to prep their resumes for human and non-human readers alike.
Banking, consulting and technology jobs will be recruiting in the fall this year, for both internship and full-time positions. Penn students will undoubtably apply to large companies like Morgan Stanley and Google, which sift through the hundreds of thousands of applications from students worldwide. According to figures provided by the Financial Times, Goldman Sachs alone attracted over a quarter of a million applications in the 2015-2016 application season.
In order to tackle this challenge, virtually every large employer now uses automated applicant tracking software to filter through the mountains of resumes.
All resumes are first fed through a parser, which removes all formatting and stylistic features, condensing the document into keywords and descriptors. The system assigns meaning to the resume content, where the resumes are then ranked on relevancy for the employer and position.
According to Management professor Peter Cappelli, although firms may risk missing potential talent and hires through this automated system, the priority behind using them still remains “the need to process thousands and thousands of applications cheaply.”
Firms need to “choose between erring on the side of picking too many qualified applicants and too few,” as “they don’t have the resources to investigate too many, so they choose going with too few,” noted Cappelli. He also remarked that on-campus recruiting may differ, as “real” recruiters get to see the resumes as well.
In a recent interview with The New York Times and in a follow-up interview with The Daily Pennsylvanian, Cappelli gave a few tips in making resumes stand out in the automated sifting process: It is especially important to “try to write the resume around the job description,” and to tweak your resume with this in mind.
“Knowing what they are looking for and highlighting those attributes is important,” he said. “The automated systems are designed more to cut out thousands of résumés, and less to find diamonds in the rough.” Cover letters are also important, “but usually they aren’t screened,” according to Cappelli.
With a growing number of applications, firms such as Goldman Sachs are also now turning to video submissions as a form of applicant screening. In the upcoming 2016-2017 recruiting round, Goldman Sachs now requires first-round applicants to submit videos through an online portal to answer questions rather than face an in-person interview.
Cappelli remarked that this process would allow the company to screen many more candidates, but whether this video-submission process would lead to better hires is not yet clear.
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