Resume screening in modern recruitment: the increasing role of the AI, keywords and formatting

ByDaniil Filipenco

Resume screening in modern recruitment: the increasing role of the AI, keywords and formatting

Over time, the roles and responsibilities of human resource professionals have significantly evolved. Gone are the days when HR was solely about hiring workers and managing the payroll.

Today, modern HR specialists manage a plethora of tasks, beginning with identifying talent, conducting interviews, offering professional development opportunities, addressing professional demands, and even developing company policies and strategic visions in talent acquisition.

With such a huge number of responsibilities, often critical for smooth business processes, it is no wonder that HR professionals are more actively leveraging AI-powered systems to streamline their work.

According to a poll conducted by the Society of Human Resources Management in February 2022, 79% of companies use automation and/or AI in their hiring and recruitment processes. It would be reasonable to suggest that this figure is higher today after the rapid evolution of certain linguistic AI models and will continue to increase as more and more people become acquainted with the features of machine learning.

So, let’s delve into the topic of using AI in modern recruitment, and discover some basic tips to help candidates to become more visible.

AI automated resume screening in recruitment

AI Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) is specialized recruiting software that optimizes the process of recruiting and hiring through the use of AI and machine learning technology.

How exactly do AI algorithms for resume screening work? In short, AI employs algorithms to analyze each file against a certain list of parameters introduced by an operator (HR specialist).

AI algorithms analyze resumes, searching for keywords, experience, and work history that match the job description or another set of data introduced by the operator. The more matches that are found, the higher a candidate ranks, enabling AI ATS to quickly identify suitable candidates and even predict their likelihood of success in a role.

The practice comes with a certain amount of pros and cons.

Benefits of AI ATS:

  • Significantly reduces the screening time
  • Accurately filters eligible and ineligible candidates
  • Enhances HR practices
  • Improves the quality of human-to-human interviews

Case study:

Hilton revamped its hiring process by integrating AI algorithms and machine learning, analyzing the historical data of previous engagements, employee performance, and other relevant criteria to predict candidate success and cultural fit. This approach has enabled Hilton to make more informed hiring decisions.

Keywords and formatting

To simplify the recruitment procedure, the ATS makes use of keywords which can be both words and phrases. For candidates, it becomes vital to understand the job they are applying for and use relevant keywords in their LinkedIn profile and CV to improve visibility to recruiters.

One relevant comparison would be the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) process implemented by web-sites to increase the return rate of search engine results containing their resources.

First and foremost, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the position you’re applying for. After that, you can use keywords to tailor your LinkedIn profile and CV to that particular position.

What is a keyword?

Keywords are words or phrases that are related to a certain position or job title. The position could require a certain set of competencies, credentials, or skills. Keywords are the terms and phrases that you would include in your CV which can also include the buzzwords and jargon related to a particular sector or job profile.

How can you help the system select your CV?

Normally ATS carries out keyword searches although some systems may also use additional contextual filters. Thus, in addition to crafting a compelling CV that highlights your experience and qualifications, you also need to know which keywords to use for your CV to ultimately land on the hiring manager’s or recruiter’s desk as they can also be influenced by the keywords you used in your CV.

*Don’t overuse keywords. Numerous ATS can spot “keyword stuffing” and may reject your CV.

The method by which ATS screening operates is by comparing your CV, and more specifically the keywords you have included, to the criteria listed in the job specification.

Resume formatting

Undoubtedly, first impressions do matter. So, if you make it past through the screening process, you’ll be analyzed by an HR professional in person. Thus, your CV must be well-organized and look professional. Moreover, it should be tailored to the organization you are applying for. Remember that recruiters have to screen numerous applications, and they won’t spend their valuable time on poor CVs that contain irrelevant data.

You will considerably increase your chances of getting noticed if you create a succinct and unambiguous summary of your skills that highlights why you are the most qualified applicant. This is where resume formatting enters the stage.

What is resume formatting?

The practice of customizing resumes to match a company’s requirements and standards is known as resume formatting.

Here are some resume format tips that might help you:

  • Keep it to one page
  • Use bullet points or short sentences
  • Font size: 10-12, with margins not exceeding 0.5 inches
  • Avoid personal pronouns like “I”
  • Check punctuation
  • Use formatting options like bold, italics, and underlining for readability

All in all, maintaining an easy-to-read, basic design is the best option.

If you hope to be hired in the development aid sector, apply to DevelopmentAid Recruitment Solutions (DRS). We also offer bespoke and cost-effective recruitment solutions that are tailored to each organization’s culture and values. DRS boasts more than 15 years of expertise in the successful recruitment of specialists for the development and humanitarian areas.


Recruitment services have come a long way and today AI-powered tools are gaining momentum, helping recruiters and hiring managers to save time and improve their efficiency. However, if a candidate wants to get noticed, they should consider using the correct format and keywords. Systems that are enhanced by AI can then analyze the information within a resume and match it with the criteria outlined in a job posting.

As technology develops, those searching for a job should follow the trends with what’s going on in the job market, thus increasing the chances of being hired. Subscribing to the DevelopmentAid newsletter will allow you to stay in touch with the latest news in the development sector recruitment.