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how data science and algorithms rank your resume
How Data Science and Algorithms Rank your Resume

February 17, 2019 | Michael Howard

Tag: Artificial Intelligence6

In the job market, your resume has always competed against everyone else’s. The usual process goes something like this. A company posts a job online. Depending on the company and the job, hundreds apply, maybe thousands. The advertisement lists an email or an online link. If an email, you simply email your resume with or without a separate cover letter. If online, you upload your resume then confirm the content through guided, progressive screens. You submit. You wait. And wait.

Often you don’t wait long. You receive a response via email thanking you for your submission. Very politely they will say no thank you. Sometimes it takes longer, weeks or even a month or two. But same result. Occasionally, you are the lucky one and get a call.

What you may not know is, behind the curtain, data science has revolutionized this process. And depending on the outcomes mentioned above, this is either good news or bad news. If you received the call, it is good news, data science has worked for you. If you received the polite email, it did not.

Because you are reading this sentence, you’re in luck. It’s time you leverage data science to your advantage and get the call for a job interview. I’ll show you how.

Analyzing Your Resume

It starts with a basic understanding of how things work. Data science is broad term so, lets break it down a bit. To start, data science is simply applying scientific methods to analyze data. In this case, your resume is the data. In order to analyze it, today’s technology employ several sub-categories of computer science.

First of these is data migration. The idea is simple. At a high level, your resume is a document with words. Words are combined to make sentences. Sentences form paragraphs. Paragraphs are categorized by headings. The first task is to parse these segments into known parts such as “Skills,” “Experience” and “Education” for context. Then, compare them to the job advertisement.

Resume Keyword Matching

Here’s where data science begins to do the heavy lifting. Document formatting can help but making sense of what words mean -- in context to their sentences, paragraphs and headings -- relies heavily on computer algorithms. A computer science tool called natural language processing is used to match words and phrases to similar words and phrases from the job advertisement. This is called semantic matching. Exact matching is used too, called lexical matching.

Natural language processing has been around for a while. What’s new is machine learning as a method to develop artificial intelligence. In order to “understand” that words and phrases are “similar,” a beginning data model is created with words and phrases of known contextual meaning. Then, millions of iterations of sample data are compared to formulate scientific probabilities of matches. The algorithm “learns” which are matches by ranking probabilities.

ATS and Your Resume

Relating to your resume, this happens in seconds. Employers use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to scan your resume using this technology. It is parsed into segments and probability matching is performed. For every match, a point is earned. Points are added up to give your resume a final score. Final scores among other applicants are compared and your resume is ranked.

Employers have differing policies on when to call you. It depends on both your resume score and ranking. If you quickly received the polite email thanking you, your resume scored low enough that it was known it would not rank high. If it took awhile to get the email, you score was borderline, meaning your ranking may have mattered, so more candidate resumes had to be received and processed before finalizing that your rank fell below minimum. Then if you got a quick call, your score was high enough that your ranking was known to be high, so they wasted no time.

So now you know how it works. But what can you do about it?

Resume Tool That Works

It’s simple. Use the same tool. is such a tool. It uses this same technology and performs the same tasks ATS systems do to score your resume. It does this by using artificial intelligence to extract and merge keywords and phrases into your resume. With the click of a button. You choose which of these keywords and phrases are right for you.

Armed with this knowledge, use to tailor your resume to the job for which you are applying. You will get the job interview and not the polite email. Doors will open that have previously been closed. Opportunities will increase. It’s time that you leverage technology to get the job YOU want.

Now it’s up to you.