Will Your CV ‘Parse’ the Test?

As someone who is not from a recruitment background and having worked for the same company for eight years prior to joining Momentum Search and Selection, I had never heard of CV/ resume parsing software.


One of the tasks I perform is to manage our CRM (Customer Relationship Management System).  This blog will outline some impediments I have noticed when handling CV’s.  I’ll also give you some tips that may increase your chances of being ‘found’ in a recruitment database and ensure you convey the right information to an executive search agency or prospective employer.


You may or may not know that some recruitment agencies use resume parsing software which auto-extracts relevant details from your CV to populate their CRM.  To ensure your skills, experience and pertinent details are correctly conveyed to a recruiter when they are job matching via CRM, there are some important things to note.


Always send your CV in MS Word format.  Sending an additional pdf version is fine, but the recruiter will most likely edit your CV and or add an introductory page prior to submitting it to a client.  Parsing software works best with a Word document, not a pdf. At Momentum Search and Selection, we send a very detailed summary of the practitioner who we are representing to our client; this is always attached to the front of the CV.


Make sure your CV’s content can be extracted by the parser.  Parsing software struggles to extract details from an image, so inserting your name and contact details via a fancy business card-type header into the Word document will result in them failing to populate the relevant CRM fields and recruiters won’t be able to find you in their database.  Simple text comprising of headings followed by bullet points and short paragraphs work best.


Convey the right message.  If you currently reside in Brisbane but are looking to relocate to Melbourne, state this as your preferred location in your CV.  The parser will pick this up and populate the appropriate field so you won’t be overlooked for Melbourne jobs due to your current address.  It is a good idea to state your residency status, particularly if you are applying from outside Australia and especially in light of the 457 visa changes.  Maybe you’re a returning citizen, permanent resident or arriving on a spouse visa; stating this will ensure you don’t go in the ‘no right to work’ pile due to your current overseas address.


Ensure you’re easy to find on a recruiter’s database.  Know what key words are used by advertisers in the job description and skills requirements of your desired role, then use the same language in your CV.  This will ensure you are found by a recruiter using key words to search candidates in their CRM prior to pre-qualifying.


Momentum Search and Selection spend a lot of time vetting candidates for roles, which is not based on key word searches but on detailed competency based interviews. However, our first search for candidates is always on our database so being able to find your profile is highly advantageous.


Momentum Search and Selection is a recruitment partner which provides Executives and Independent Contractors who excel at project, program and change management delivery.


Clare Chittenden