If you have ever tried applying for lots of jobs but never received a call back, it could be because you're making this one mistake.

When it comes to landing an interview, you might have to get past a screening algorithm first. Many employers and job agencies these days use algorithms to screen the CVs of job applicants to save time and eliminate candidates.

The new tech trend — and its impact on jobseekers — was raised during a parliamentary inquiry into the Future of Work and Workers in Australia, which tabled its report this week.

"More and more recruiters are using artificial intelligence and data analytics to shortlist job applicants," Labor senator Murray Watt, who chaired the inquiry, told news.com.au.


It's even led jobseekers to rethink how they present their resumé. According to research by recruitment agency Hays Australia this month, 80 per cent of jobseekers adapt or plan to adapt their CV to better contend with algorithm screening.

"Artificial intelligence and automated machine learning algorithms are being used in every industry, including recruitment," Nick Deligiannis, managing director of recruitment agency Hays Australia, said.

In a survey of 6551 Aussie workers conducted by the company, 27 per cent said they have already adapted their CV and online profiles while another 54 per cent plan to do so in the coming 12 months.

"Typically, it is time-consuming and repetitive tasks that are being automated. In the case of recruitment, one job ad can elicit hundreds, sometimes thousands, of responses. Many of these may be inappropriate but all must be screened in order to identify the suitable candidates," Deligiannis said.

The same even goes for your LinkedIn profile page.

"If a recruiter does not advertise, they'll instead use digital technology and data science to examine large amounts of data to find the most suitable people for a job," he said.

However it does raise certain ethical questions about how these systems are designed and put into practice.

"At the moment there's no guidelines or ethical restrictions about how those algorithms are used and that gives a lot of power to the people who are designing the algorithms that underpin artificial intelligence," Watt said.

"If there's an algorithm that's developed that might say we're only going to shortlist people that come from a particular university, that obviously discriminates against people.

"It's a debate that is in its infancy but is something that is going to need more exploration as this technology grows."

How to boost your CV to pass algorithm screening

So how can you ensure your application makes it past the algorithms and reaches a shortlist?

According to Hays, it's not too different to what you would normally highlight on your CV but there are some tips the company suggests to improve your chances of getting past computer screening.

Don't skimp on keywords

Pepper your CV and online profile with keywords relevant to the jobs you apply for. And don't forget keywords for the required soft skills, too.

Describe achievements

Use those keywords to describe examples of achievements. Hays gives the following example: "I used my communication skills to liaise with colleagues in other departments, then applied my analytical nous to develop business case proposals and tenders accordingly."

Use an accepted CV format

Look for formatting details for each application process to ensure your CV is in the accepted format as an alternative style might not contain the content AI recognises.

Have a good LinkedIn page

Create a strong LinkedIn profile. Many people leave the summary field blank, but you should use the full character count to highlight your abilities.

Avoid unusual job titles

Even if your official job title is a little unconventional, use an industry-standard title in your CV and online profile so it will be recognised by an algorithm.