The hiring and jobhunting processes sometimes can be so frustrating that it feels like the people offering jobs and the people seeking them are speaking completely different languages. Turns out, they are.
Bright examined one million job descriptions and one million resumes to find the most frequent terminology used by hiring managers and job seekers. For the analysis we used term frequency-inverse document frequency ("tf-idf"), a well-known statistic for determining important terms in documents. The table at right contains some of the terms with the highest tf-idf in resumes and job descriptions (note: the terms appearing here are not ranked by tf-idf).
Based on the analysis, job seekers place much more emphasis on education in their resumes than do hiring managers in job descriptions. Conversely, “experience” appears frequently in job descriptions; this is not so in resumes. The presence in job descriptions of adjectives such as “exceptional,” “excellent,” “essential,” “competitive,” “comprehensive,” “positive,” and “dedicated,” not to mention “quality” itself, show that hiring managers are very interested in the quality of a candidate’s experience, but many fewer such terms appear on resumes. Instead, on their resumes people tend to highlight the action that they have taken in their positions, by including verbs such as “managed,” “performed,” “created,” “worked,” and “assisted.” In the job description list, words like “teamwork,” “responsible,” and “environment” point out that hiring managers also consider how candidates will work with others if hired.
Another noticeable difference: job seekers often use the past tense, whereas hiring managers tend to use the present tense. Words including “maintain,” “develop,” and “implement” appear on both lists, though in different tenses. (While tense can matter in matching algorithms, the Bright Score, like some other algorithms, uses a common process called stemming to eliminate tense differences in root words.)
Incidentally, this analysis also exposed many common misspellings — in both job descriptions and resumes. The table also contains some of the most common examples. As Business Insider's Vivian Giang reported, hiring managers often look for people who do things “acurately,” and assume “accontability.” Jobseekers, on the other hand, highlight the importance of both “pinciples” and “proffitts.”