Job Search: 75% of Applicant Resumes Thrown Out by Computer

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If you’re unemployed, a job search that lasts many months to a year is a critical financial disaster. You might be forced to live on credit cards or ask relatives for help. Even worse, you may end up homeless.

Think it can’t happen to you? Guess again. It’s happening to professionals in every age group in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Many of them are college-educated professionals who want to work and refuse to apply for food stamps, welfare, or public assistance. They have hope to be hired full-time.

When you start researching the job market, you quickly discover it might not be your skills or experience. Most likely, it’s a computer game that you’re losing.

When you consider that studies (Forbes) show 75% of resumes are automatically thrown out by the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) due to keywords and formatting, it’s incredible how much control the ATS has over employment.

When you can no longer receive unemployment benefits, you’re not even counted as unemployed. So the unemployment statistics aren’t telling the truth about the crisis of employment in today’s world.

A huge section of the unemployed will never know why they’re losing the game of employment. Eventually, they give up on getting a job. It seems like an easy option to give up but it’s the worst option. When submitting your online resume results in no response, no interview, and no job offer, it becomes frustrating but it’s not the end of the hunt.


Applicants, who are struggling in getting a full-time job, turn to working freelance or taking several part-time jobs on Craigslist. But Craigslist jobs are often a crapshoot. Sometimes you’re paid on Craigslist jobs; sometimes you’re not. You’re working without an employment agreement. There’s no contract and no guaranteed paycheck. Even if you’re promised a regular paycheck, sometimes that doesn’t materialize. Instead, you find yourself being paid less than minimum wage. You’re not even reimbursed for travel fees on the job or out-of-pocket expenses.

“Can you drive across town, pick this up for me, and pay for it? I’ll reimburse you later.” Later never arrives. “And about your paycheck. It’s in the mail.”

It may be illegal, but if you signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) about the company’s business practices just to get the job, good luck in getting any remuneration. Those NDA requirements are becoming more common on Craigslist jobs, too. If you don’t sign upfront and agree to keep your mouth shut about illegal business practices, you won’t get the job.


The Intuit 2020 Report predicts 40% of Americans workers will be freelance by the year 2020. That statistic was from a few years ago, so the statistic has probably increased and more than half of American workers will be “entrepreneurs” working freelance soon. Sadly, most of them will fail in their entrepreneurial attempt. It’s hard to make a living freelance unless you have a solid business plan, solid skills, an incredible sales funnel on your website, and a steady stream of paying clients plus money to invest in advertising.

Instead of relying on tiny, random paychecks, you want a real job that provides a steady paycheck and benefits. So don’t give up.


In talking with many Human Resource representatives and hiring managers, they all agree on one thing: they are overwhelmed with bad resumes and only a handful of the thousands of resumes are actually reviewed by a human. This is the reason they use the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software to save time and weed out candidates who don’t seem qualified on paper. If some of the good candidates are deleted due to poor formatting, so be it. They don’t care. That’s not their concern. Hiring the best candidate is their only goal so they can move to the next job opening or finish other work.


The job board industry needs a good stir. Applicants sometimes spend hours resubmitting and retyping all of their resume information into a single online job application. Then they receive silence.

Applying for employment through the old job board industry leads to so many questions that go unanswered. Was the resume rejected by a computer? Did a human review the resume? Does the job even exist? Was the job already filled internally? Was this job posting just a way to fulfill a requirement to advertise a job? Am I wasting my time on the job boards? If you’re spending weeks to months applying for jobs without even a phone call interview, you’ve answered your own question.


Even Craigslist employers tell me they receive 200+ resumes in the first hours a job posting online, even if it’s an unpaid position, but few of the resumes stand out. They select a few people to interview and delete the rest from their inbox. Craigslist does not use the ATS, so they rely on looking at the subject lines to decide whether they’ll click to open the cover letter and resume. Craigslist employers say each online resume email they open only receives a scroll that lasts a few seconds. Their goal is to fill the job quickly with the most qualified warm body.

The worst part about Craigslist jobs is working without an employment contract or agreement. Oftentimes Craigslist jobs are postings from smaller companies so it’s unpredictable and often short-term. Lots of individuals, small companies, and big companies advertise for unpaid interns on Craigslist. Don’t do it. HR hiring managers will tell you not to list those unpaid internships on your resume because they don’t consider them to be real work experience. Unless you’re a college student, unpaid internships in your 30’s – 50’s are a complete waste of time even for re-training purposes. Furthermore, many of those unpaid internships are illegal because you are doing the work of what would be full-time paid employees. It’s a way for a company to not pay you for your work and retain a higher profit for the business.

Other Craigslist employers have told me that many job listings aren’t all real as lots of listings are simply used to promote a company or startup that needs more clients and paying customers.


Once you enter the job search arena, everyone else is more than willing to share a statistic to prepare you for failure. They’ll tell you: For every 100 applications you fill out online, you will get 10 interviews (phone, video, or in-person), and only 1 job offer. That may be the rule of thumb they hope for, but I think the stat is outdated due to the ATS. Honestly, I think the statistic is far worse, especially for people who don’t know how to format their resume properly. There are so many people who have struggled for years with no interviews, despite the fact that they’re spending an enormous amount of time applying for jobs and they have a rich work history.

Bottom line: good candidates are being left behind as a result of the ATS.

There may be discouraging hiring statistics, but you can start getting interviews. Everyone who has ever volunteered or worked in a paying job has skills, but it’s all in the display and wording of your resume.


The businesses that are disrupting any industry are actually helping everyone by exposing the truth and leading to a fast track of information.

  1. RESEARCH ATS. Do your research on the current ATS systems and find out what kind of resume formatting the computer will accept. For example, I don’t recommend you use a resume format in PDF even if the online system says it will accept PDF. I also don’t advise using columns, tables, colors, pictures, or icons. The paragraph and bullet point approaches work, but don’t indent them. Use of keywords is also critical and every resume must be tailored to fit the job description. Be careful where you do your research online because a lot of the resume information on paid and free websites is completely outdated. If the resume looks too fancy or hard to read, you’re wasting your money.
  2. Fast track your employment by visit for resume tips and templates that apply to recent college graduates and applicants of any age. It was created for students, but it applies to ALL ages. Rezi offers resume formats that beat the ATS. Follow Rezi on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. Rezi has disrupted the job search and resume industry. Be smart and get started with Rezi.
  3. Visit for resume templates and a free ATS scan. Find out how your resume rates when compared to the jobs you’re applying. You’ll be given a percentage to see how you match the job description. How will the computer rank your resume for a real HR department? Will you be kicked out of the system or will your resume be seen? If you receive a low-percentage match, you’ll want to work on your resume. JobScan has disrupted the ATS software and job search industry.
  4. Submit your application to jobs on Create a resume that the computer can read and accept. Many of my clients have experienced the highest success rate through ZipRecruiter’s one-click apply that doesn’t eliminate candidates with an ATS system. ZipRecruiter also notifies you when an employer has read your resume and if they read your resume a second time. That feedback is critical to the application process. ZipRecruiter has disrupted the stale job board industry and they’re helping applicants get hired.
  5. PERSONALITY TESTS. Do your research before taking online personality tests that are required as part of the online application process. In most of the tests, there are only two correct answers amongst a sea of vague multiple-choice answers. Always choose Strongly Agree or Strongly Disagree. Any other answer will be an incorrect answer and your personality will fail at getting you an interview.

The job search is one big, elaborate computer game. It’s time to play the game to win. Use action words on your resume, use keywords, and access the best information in today’s market.

When you get a job using the above advice, send me an email through Bloom Grow Media. I’d love to hear your success story. My goal is to get people hired. Everyone who wants to work should be able to break through the system and be offered a job.

Employment a Game of Chance for the Over 40 Crowd: 4 Ways to Roll the Dice on Income



Never in a million years did I think there would be a crisis of employment for people over the age of 40 . . . until I was over 40.

Clearly the government did the research because the over 40 crowd is often treated differently.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act  “forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older . . . Age discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) less favorably because of his or her age. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.”


If any representative interviewing you for a job asks your age or discusses your age to prevent you from being hired, it is illegal and age discrimination.

Oftentimes, anyone who is over 40 is judged immediately due to their age.

“You’ve been out of the workforce for a year so I expect you’re not up-to-date on the computer programs.”

“Why did you take time off to stay home with your kids?  Now, you’re outdated.”

“You’re disqualified because you have too much experience and the company wants someone with only one to two years of experience, not five years of experience.”

“You’re overqualified for this entry level job geared at college students or people in their 20’s.”

“We only hire people in their 20’s. The oldest employee working at the company is only 38 so you’re not what they want.”

Thousands of lawsuits are filed every year regarding workplace discrimination and age discrimination. Look at the statistics from 2014 and 2015.


If you’re looking for full-time employment and you’re over the age of 40, you know the buzz words that deter the over 40 crowd from applying for a job: recent college grad, recent high school grad, young and energetic, young and motivated, and the list goes on.

Guess what? Suggesting an age limit as a requirement for hiring is also an illegal practice.


What’s even scarier is that 35+ is being viewed as too old to work in the tech world.

When did 35 become the new age for being outdated in any industry?

There’s a high turnover in the tech world as employees in their 30’s are being replaced by employees in their 20’s. If you work a full year or more in the tech world at one company, you’ve had a great run.


Some businesses see it as business sense to fire older senior employees and save the company money by replacing them with younger employees. As a result, those older displaced workers are struggling to find work.

In today’s world, older workers are often hired as freelance consultants, independents, part-time employees, or not considered at all.

Retirement is no longer guaranteed at the age of 65, as more workers must work into their 70’s just to survive. People are living longer, so they have to find a way to support themselves.


You could spend all of your time filing complaints and lawsuits against companies for age discrimination or you can take action to gain income.

Reality check. You have bills to pay. You need shelter so you have to pay rent or mortgage. You have to pay car insurance and gas. You have to pay for electricity and Internet access. Most importantly, you need food on the table for you and your family.

Fact. You can’t live on credit cards forever.

Even if you decide to file a complaint or a lawsuit regarding age discrimination, you need to work. You need to become proactive in your employment search. Start making changes for your future today.


  1. Consider Consulting. There’s nothing wrong with becoming a freelance consultant in your field of expertise. Older employees with a wealth of experience have so much to offer big companies, small companies, and individual clients.
  2. Become a Freelance Author. Show your expertise and establish yourself as an expert. Use your self-published book as a business card for your next job.
  3. Become Active on Social Media. Join the tech world and play with everyone in the pool of employment. Connect with companies you want to work with on social media. Share stories in your area of expertise, write a blog and then post it on LinkedIn and Twitter. Share. Share. Share. Don’t fight technology; instead, acclimate and join.
  4. Re-Training. If you really want a full-time corporate job, re-train, and self-teach. Be a life-long learner. Study, read, and take action. Learn new computer programs and apps. Show the next employer that you’re in the playing field and ready to be an asset to the company.

Every applicant of every age has something to offer the workforce. If you’re competing against a variety of applicants, you need to make yourself stand out from everyone else.