The new automated recruitment system used by airlines

What are the common pitfalls to avoid when preparing CVs for Middle Eastern airlines?

Middle east recruiters spend on average no more than 30 seconds sifting thorough CVs and shortlisting candidates.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when preparing your CV for submission.  

- Ensure it isn't too long.  Do not exceed 2 pages.  For those with limited experience or just left college, a single page should be sufficient.  Your CV should be easy to scan quickly. It should be clean and concise with bulleted text.

- Don't over-write on a role you did more than 3 years ago.  Focus on your most recent experience and keep that up-to-date.

- Show and describe your suitability.  Avoid keyword stuffing from the job specification or description without having good examples for verification. 

- Don't over inject your personality. A cluttered CV looks unprofessional, so keep it clean with consistent size 11 or 12 font that is easy to read.  Coloured paper, borders and unusual fonts are best avoided.  

- Avoid the use of jargons or complex terminology.  Your recruiter may come from a country where English is not their first language.  

- Explain all gaps in your CV and don't make mistakes with dates.  These dates are always checked back with your previous employers.  

Most airlines now use technology to speed up the selection process and automate most of the initial recruitment process, therefore requiring less administrative tasks and reducing costs on open days, hotel hire and savings on HR staff required in the department to shortlist CVs.

So, when faced with recruitment software or the human touch, I am pleased to say the process is still the same.  Airlines like Emirates, Etihad and Qatar are faced with receiving thousands of CVs every week when roles get released on their recruitment portal.  

I use recruitment software at work, and with this latest technology, I now have an automated shortlisting functionality that makes my day job easier.  This assesses the CVs and scores them to the essential criteria I set, including checks for English, grammar and spelling.  Where attention to detail or examples of experience are not given for the keywords used, the software decides automatically that this candidate does not measure up, and a poor score will be given.  If you are guilty of keyword stuffing to optimise your CV for getting selected, this too will be scored poorly by the automated recruitment software.

The software then re-ranks in accordance with other suitability criteria that I set, and the candidate's score can vary throughout this process until the full initial online vetting process is completed.

A video interview is often compulsory with automated recruitment systems.  The candidate is also scored on the quality of answers given alongside good examples.  Interpersonal skills, command of the English language, grammatical errors, listening skills, speaking skills, examples of customer service experience, content and body language are all individually scored by the software. Please do not forget that the body language correlates to the answer you are providing.  For example, if you are asked a question on the best experience you have given to a customer, your answer could be absolutely acceptable, however, if your body language does not quite match-up with the answer, then you will not score well on that question.  

The initial CV selection process is scored and ranked according to the airline's requirements and so will your answers to the digital video interview.  If you fail both, then it goes into the 'regret' batch, and you will get an automated email saying the airline will not take your application any further.  However, if you are in the high score category, you will receive an automated email saying you are invited for the assessment day.  For those in border line situations, they will be put on hold by the recruiter for further consideration.  Some candidates will experience their 'Application is under review' far longer than others.  This is like being placed 'on hold' where you are not bad enough to fail but not good enough either to get a strong pass.  I will reserve judgement and wait for better candidates to emerge on an open application system with no deadline. This is also how Emirates now operates with an open date on cabin crew recruitment.  At a later stage, I will then decide to manually accept or reject those placed 'on hold'.  Highest ranking here will then be invited to the assessment day. 

The automated software helps recruiters to decide how many applicants they would ideally like to interview at the upcoming Assessment Day, and if the recruiters have too many to interview then they will only send out invitations for the highest ranking candidates that fit the criteria.

At the end of the day, I will ensure all candidates receive an automated email.   

Well, what do we learn here.  A good concise CV highlighting your experience with a few essential examples written in good English, and a good video interview showing your interpersonal skills will get you an invitation to the assessment day.

We help candidates with CV preparation, offer guidance on interpersonal skills and body language at our video interview coaching sessions.  Find out more about our product offerings today, and you too could be getting your wings in a few months from now.  Our professional CV writing service is priced at just GBP£35.  It does increase your chances significantly.  Don't forget that most of our clients pass at first attempt and fly sooner than those who try to manage this whole process themselves.