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Revealed: the third biggest mistake work-seeking contractors make


Contractors are typically a savvy bunch when it comes to winning work, but in a rapidly evolving market, keeping abreast of change is absolutely crucial to success, writes Matt Craven, founder of The CV & Interview Advisors. We have identified ten common mistakes that contractors make when seeking contract work and this article will focus on mistake number three — Failing to Optimise CVs for Recruitment Software.

When delivering our webinars, the slide I use for CV optimisation often makes reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger and his ‘Terminator’ films — the ones where machines are taking over the world. Now, despite all the concerns over AI and its threat to the human race, the machines haven’t quite taken over the world yet — although they do have a large part to play in the recruitment process. And that process, however you slice it — and a bit like the shotgun-wielding Terminator, affects lives!

You versus ATS
A quick Google search reveals that 75% of recruiters use recruiting or applicant-tracking software and of that big chunk, an even bigger chunk — 94% — believe the software has improved the hiring process. So get used to it, because it’s not going anywhere fast.
When contractors apply for an opportunity, their CVs are typically viewed by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) before they are seen by a human, and those ATSs have their own individual algorithm. This looks for certain pieces of information that is then used to shortlist the most relevant candidates. That means the machine is matching you against the spec of the contract or job before your CV is ever seen by the recruiter!
In order to optimise your CV for an ATS, it is important to correctly ‘sign-post’ your CV so that the algorithm can easily find the correct information. Here are some tactics that you can adopt in five key areas.

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