Six Things You Might Not Know About Applying for Jobs

Six things that you might not know about applying for a job:

  1. Selection bias is real – male names are better than female, common names are better than foreign names.
  2. Photos aren’t necessary – and introduce more opportunity for discrimination.
  3. Age is not needed either – more opportunity for discrimination.
  4. Dates – especially for education – are not needed.
  5. Bots scan your resumes – make sure OCR is on/present.
  6. Bots scan your resumes – make sure yours has relevant keywords in it (search and highlight within job ads and PDs and check against your resume.


As we move out of lockdown here in Victoria and across the world and economies open up, you might have perhaps lost your job and now been looking for work or perhaps you’re just looking for a change in scenery. So, here are 6 tips that I think might make your resume better, and the job hunting process is itself better.

Firstly, bots, robots are likely to be a scanner of your resume. So, make sure you’ve got optical character recognition or OCR turned on or available for your resume. The easiest way to know whether that works is to say save it as a PDF, and then open the PDF and find some kind of text in there that you know that’s in there perhaps your name. If it can be found then you know that OCR is on, and available for your resume. In keeping with that theme of bots, like I said bots are going to search. So, make sure your resume has things in it that the bot can find.

Keywords that are perhaps in the job ad or that you know about the job. In your resume, make sure that they’re in there because that will be the one of the ways that your resume gets shortlisted. So, the easiest thing to do for that is to get the job ad, highlight the keywords, and then get your resume and highlight the keywords that match. If there are any that are missing work out ways that you can credibly add them into your resume. Don’t just add them in as a bunch of keywords that you’ve randomly put in there for some unknown reason.

Next thing, dates really don’t matter. So, when you got your PhD or when you did your undergraduate or when you went to high school, generally isn’t relevant and it’s an opportunity for discrimination, where someone could perhaps guess or work out your actual age. So, you don’t need to put that in. Obviously, your age isn’t necessary. Please don’t put that in. That’s an opportunity for discrimination.

Again, photos aren’t necessary. In particularly in Australia, we don’t need photos for your resume. Most people or most recruiters acknowledge that they go and look on social media for your information as well. So, make sure that looks good and that’s nice, and particularly LinkedIn have a nice photo there. If you feel like your social media isn’t so good, maybe you want to consider changing your social media details. So, you can’t be found under your real name. And that’s I guess, a topic for another blog. 

Then finally, selection bias is real. So, use it to your advantage. Once you get into the role, you can then work out ways of changing that selection buyer. So, things to look out for male names, we know perform better than female names. Common names perform better than foreign sounding name. So, if there’s some way that you can make your female name sound more male, and I know that’s really bad and it’s kind of bowing to the patriarchy if that makes sense. But if you we need to these are like I said, pragmatic. Real things that you need to be mindful of. So yeah, have a think about how you can make your resume different by knowing what the biases are.

I hope those tips help, and if you want any more help or advice on resume writing, feel free to reach out or drop a comment below, and I’ll reach out to you.

Thanks! Bye.