Resume Parsing

What You Should Know About Resume Parsing

By: Dave Rietsema
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Resume parsing is a feature that’s included with many applicant tracking system (ATS) solutions and recruitment software packages. Most recruiters and employers understand that resume parsing helps with candidate filtering and selection, but may not know exactly what it is or how it helps. The following are a few tidbits about resume parsing and its role in recruitment.

What Is Resume Parsing?

When candidates submit resumes or CVs in response to job ads, those documents come in all different formats and styles. Applicants may use different words to describe the same experience and education. Resume parsing programs take those documents and convert them into formats that work with the system that’s in place and help to neutralize the language so that it’s easier to compare candidates.

Resume Parsing and Candidate Filtering

Once the resumes and CVs have been converted into a format that the ATS software can work with, programs can compare candidates’ experience levels and education. The resumes of the best candidates will be highlighted so that the hiring team can move candidates into the next phase of hiring.

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Resume Parsing Advantages

Using resume parsing functionality saves labor hours while also helping to avoid biases that may cause staff members to favor one candidate over another. Hiring staff doesn’t have to waste time looking over resumes of unqualified candidates or trying to scrutinize minor differences between candidates. This makes it possible for a company to take on a larger number of resumes, which may result in higher quality talent being brought into the workplace.

Resume parsing can also help to improve the candidate experience. Since resume filtering saves time, hiring staff can move candidates through the hiring process faster and communicate relevant information sooner. Ideally, this will reduce time to hire rates while placing top talent in position before they start looking into other options.

Resume Parsing Improvements

Resume parsing has gotten a bad rap, especially in its initial stages. When first introduced, some resume parsing programs were very limited in their ability to convert documents and understand subtle differences in language. This resulted in high quality candidates being overlooked and low quality candidates making the cut simply because they used the right keywords.

ATS software has improved in its ability to convert documents to a universal format and to recognize a larger vocabulary, so these issues are mostly a thing of the past.  Some ATS software parsing programs are also capable of converting information found on candidates’ social media pages to a usable format, creating alternative sources for candidate information.

Sync Job Advertisement with Resume Parsing

The way that a job advertisement is worded can have an impact on how effective resume parsing will be. Including keywords in the job advertisement that the resume parsing program will later look for in resumes will make candidates more likely to include those items and to word them exactly the same way. Job advertisements should also be as thorough as possible, as this gives both candidates and parsing programs more to work with.

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