Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quirks of automated job search

In my job search I've run across not just one, but two big companies that use the same resume-parsing application. The existence of such applications is new to me -- they weren't there when I was looking for a job 9 years ago. This piece of software parses your resume after you upload it to the company's website, extracts relevant information from it, and converts it into its own format. For example, it will recognize your address, phone number, and email address, and put them in appropriate fields. It will also recognize Summary Of Qualifications, Objective, and perhaps some other sections, and put those paragaphs in appropriate boxes.

Further than that, things get tricky. It tries to recognize names of companies you've worked for, and does it with only a varying degree of success. The name of my pre-previous company, i2 Technologies, has the power to throw the parser off. It may be the lowercase i that trips it, but both times it parsed it as "Technologies". Fortunately, the system lets you correct this stuff manually.

And boy, is there lots of tedious manual correcting to be done. The parser doesn't handle bullet points very well -- it lumps them all in a big single-paragraph mess. Cleaning it up once is tedious enough; doing it twice, even more so. Doing it on a netbook, which has little vertical screen space, is even worse. Doing it on a netbook on a web page where the editing window, embedded between an immovable header and footer, is about an inch high... that's just UGH.

If I had known that these parsers were used by more than one company, I would have copy/pasted and saved the formatted text in a file. But, as Murphy's law would have it, I might not come across another company that uses it. :-)

1 comment:

econnoisseur said...

Yes this true -- but now lot of companies are using it.
you can try at
to see how your resume is read by resume parser
that will help you to prepare better one. no need to send only text file this can read