Wednesday, 7 March 2012

CV formats - Online applications

Your choice of CV format could put you at the front or the back of the queue!

Did you know it takes less than 1 minute for your details to be processed at MAC Scientific?
Yes from your application arriving in our mailbox to you being fully registered or your existing records updated and the acknowledgement email sent it takes from 30 - 50 seconds.

To be a winner it helps to be first out of the blocks
We have invested in data parsing systems that assist us with applicant reception.
The Exchange Server, the data parsing system and our state of the art SQL Server based system all combine to rapidly present you to the consultant dealing with your application.

From there we can contact you by SMS, Email or TAPI call to your mobile, work or home number as is you prefer.
Consultants can be reviewing your CV within 60 secs of your application.

Our systems are also smart enough to hold a CV if it is not sure if it's an updated version or a newly registered person's CV. All this is rendered useless if your CV get's held up for manual checking because the CV is illegible or poor or over complex formatting such as tables confuses the parsing software.

Here's a quick list of pointers about the format to speed you along:
  • Always send a CV in MS word format.
  • Try to avoid PDF's they look great but take longer to edit
  • Don't use tables as they affect the order in which the data is parsed
  • Always send a CV as a word Document, never use a skydrive link to a document or your application will not have a CV with it. (All the other applciants will be there done and dusted before anyone goes searching for your CV and then it has to be manually added into the system for scans for future roles.)
  • Europass CV's look good until you edit them, they can cause delays

If you have more time then read on.

Background info
Applications for a role can number in the hundreds, it is not unknown to receive over 1200 applications for a basic lab tech role!   You have competition and never moreso than in the current climate!

Logistically our Recruitment System and processes are developed to cope.
We have state of the art reception software to be able to process bulk applications that come from job boards, websites, careers sites etc.  That process involves automatically extracting the data in your CV to be analysed and submitted to the database whilst simultaneously emailing the Consultant(s) to alert them to your application.
That takes seconds!
So what can go wrong?

MAC Scientific as a reputable agency will never send your details to a client without your express permission.

In accordance with best practice no agency should submit your CV to a client without your permision, this applies in respect of each particular role.  They should also sanitise your CV by removing your personal details and those of your referees.
Therefore some editing (sanitising) must take place to remove these details.  That is not as simple or quick for an agency to do with PDF's and or skydrive docs.  So don't use those if you can help it.

It is policy at MAC Scientific to never alter the content of your CV unless you agree to it.  Minor changes such as typing errors etc are something we would take care of for you but we will never alter the content for fear of altering the context.

So, as PDF's are more difficult to edit they usually get passed to someone else to edit, this will delay an application.
Skydrive docs have to be retrieved by someone so your application will have no CV with it, whereas CV's that came as Word Docs will have been processed and actioned before your gets looked at.  Many clients only allow a limited number of CV's so you do not want to have your CV delayed for any reason or you may find the applications limit is reached.

Upon arrival at my desk I have often had to review 60 or more applicants for one job that came in overnight.  The PDF or Skydrive based CV's are all needing further attention yet we have filled the client imposed quota of applicants for the particular role concerned.   For instance each agency may only be allowed to submit 5 cv's.
Some clients allow only two or three applications at a time so having your CV delayed is not a good tactical move.   You do not want to be fourth!

Skydrive docs have to be downloaded whereas CV's emailed to us as an MS Word attachment are loaded, dealt with and viewed by the consultant at the click of a button.
PDF's require editing in Acrobat which our SQL based system cannot do itself, although processed it's the sanitizing that takes time.  By the time we get a revised CV's back in a workable format we may have submitted our quota of applicants.

You might ask "How does this affect me?"

Quite simply you can be ahead of the game by following the advice in this blog or you can be left sidelined or your application delayed, if you do not follow these basic principles.