WILMINGTON — The mechanics for finding a job have changed dramatically in recent years and Wilmington College is working to give its graduates every advantage in what’s been described as the “new paradigm.”
With just over three months until the May Commencement, graduating seniors should be “doing a full-court press in getting jobs lined up,” said Nina Talley, director of Career Services, but those sending out traditional cover letters and fancy resumes might be in for a rude awakening as their applications fall into the black hole of rejections and non-responses.
“The playing field has changed 180 degrees — people are using old tools in this new environment,” Talley said. “There are a lot of nuances in resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles, which students don’t know about, that can knock perfectly well qualified job seekers out of the game.”
It turns out that 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies, the Monster.com-type job sites and numerous other businesses and organizations attracting applicants’ online submissions use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which employ underlying algorithms that filter out cover letters and resumes that do not match their job descriptions.
Talley noted that, while many applicants may possess the desired qualifications for particular positions, any of the 250 ATS systems on the market can reject qualified candidates without human eyes ever viewing one’s materials.
To support WC students from falling into this dilemma, the College entered into a partnership with Jobscan, a keyword optimization service designed to help job seekers land more interviews. She said Jobscan assists students in “strategically aligning” their resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles to match specific job descriptions and, in turn, decrease the chance that ATS filters would reject their materials.
“Jobscan will tell you where in your documents you can make those changes and how you can present your credentials to be viable in that particular market,” Talley said, noting it also will pull four or five jobs that match one’s profile.
WC’s Jobscan partnership was launched in January with an instructional webinar for students, faculty and staff. Indeed, anyone with a “wilmington.edu” email address is eligible to use Jobscan during a trial period through June. Wilmington College is part of a pilot program with Jobscan involving a handful of colleges and universities, including Harvard.
“We believe this will be a great asset,” Talley added. “We want our graduates to walk at Commencement with a diploma in one hand and a job offer in the other.”