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Did you know that HR recruiters often rely on job search software that seeks key words or phrases to find the “right” resumes?

It’s one of the industry’s dirty little secrets, but it’s not necessarily recruiters’ faults. Big company HR departments get slammed with hundreds, sometimes thousands of resumes. Going through them one-by-one just isn’t effective. So in looking for a solution, many have turned to¬† “resume word match” technology to help streamline their search.

It sounds like a great idea. But the problem is it’s a faulty system. As career author David Dirks recently wrote online:

Current search software for recruiting can only identify key words that HR recruiters tell it to scan for when searching through resumes. Of course, gaming the system means planting key words throughout your resume so your chances of being “discovered” are greater. Although it makes sense on the surface, oftentimes it just creates more frustration for both parties. Recruiters end up having to review resumes from candidates who are unqualified but cracked the code on the software by savvy use of keywords. Web-based software is no better. The holy grail of Web-based software was supposed to help connect qualified candidates with jobs they actually are qualified to apply for. HR recruiters were hoping that Web-based solutions could help them weed out unqualified candidates. Instead they are still stuck with people who apply for positions they are not qualified for.

Dirks goes on to discuss how applying for a position strictly through HR resume uploading processes is the wrong approach – and I totally agree. You have to make connections, build relationships, and make sure that HR and hiring managers know who you are and what you can do. The “back door approach” to landing the job you desire simply can’t be beat.