Job application hack: Bright turns recruiters’ resume tools against them

By Michael Carney , written on December 5, 2012

From The News Desk

Everyone’s heard horror stories of hiring departments at large companies that filter through resumes using computers to match keywords, without so much as a single set of human eyes ever glancing at their contents. This week, one job search company flipped the script, putting the same tool in the hands of applicants. Only they’re not marketing it as such.

Yesterday, released the Bright Score Calculator, a free-to-use tool to help recruiters match resumes to job description. The beauty is that the tool is available to the public and offers a fantastic resource to job seekers to evaluate how their skills and expertise match up with a certain job opening – and how well their resume is written for said job opening.

The good news for both sides of the equation is that the Bright Score Calculator goes beyond typical keyword matching. The tool considers synonyms, employment history, past employers, length of employment, educational data, resume length and structure, and “hundreds of other factors,” to determine how qualified an applicant is for an available position.

”The Bright Score Calculator has been designed to remove that noise, instantly surfacing top applicants so recruiters can spend time talking to candidates, not pushing paper,” says Bright Marketing Director Jen Picard.

To take advantage of the tool, applicants will need to enter the title and description from a company’s job listing into the score calculator. Then, by uploading their resume, job seekers are given a score from 0 to 100 that rates their perceived suitability to a given position. For a richer comparison, users can upload multiple resumes – either versions of their own resume or those of others – to see a ranked comparison of applicants.

Bright conducted what it believes to be “the largest resume study in history” over 18 months. The company employed 15 engineers and data scientists and 60 recruiters to analyze 2.1 million job descriptions and 2.8 million resumes. Using data science and machine learning technology, the Bright Score now offers a holistic view of a candidate based on the information contained in their resume. Along the way, the company calculated more than 1 billion Bright Scores – which makes sense given the way that machine learning algorithms improve with each iteration – and claims 93 percent comparative accuracy when matched against human evaluators.

As job roles change and virtual working arrangements grow in popularity and feasibility, the geographic pool of applicants for many positions expands exponentially. Going forward, tools like the Bright Score Calculator will play an increasing role in the hiring process, unsightly as they may seem to applicants who want to be seen as more than a piece of paper. For the first time, job seekers now have access to the same tool and can use it to their benefit when applying for a position. The game, as they say, is afoot.