Over the course of four years, Nipun Puthenkandathil has been a laborious job seeker across diverse sectors, meticulously customizing his resumé to suit the distinct job requirements. Despite boasting an impressive 15-year career across the fashion and retail industries overseas before immigrating to Canada in 2019, the silence from employers in Windsor has been deafening for Puthenkandathil. Not a single interview or job offer has been forthcoming from his applications.
He lamented, “Every time, you receive a familiar email, ‘We’ve moved forward but will retain your cover letter.’ Yet, no callback ever happens. It’s immensely frustrating.”
In the modern job landscape, constructing an attention-grabbing resumé has become an uphill task, particularly with the penetration of artificial intelligence in recruitment processes, a trend highlighted by a local start-up. “A staggering 99% of Fortune 500 companies leverage AI technology for an initial screening of resumés, a fact many job seekers remain oblivious to,” remarked Amadis Hali, Community Outreach Coordinator at Picsume. “Resumés are constructed to captivate human recruiters, overlooking their AI counterparts.”
To overhaul this, Picsume was conceived, advocating individuals to rethink their resumé format and content. It eradicates the traditional resumé by devising live work profiles laden with pivotal, verifiable details. This user-friendly, cost-free online platform facilitates the creation of profiles compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
Hali attested growing unease over ATS systems’ potential to bias against candidates based on age, gender, and racial profiles. Some candidates resourcefully incorporate invisible text with apt keywords in their resumés to evade the ATS filters. “Such tactics breed opacity equating to falsifying your resumé to surpass the filters,” Hali noted. “In response, we’re pioneering transparency by enabling an honest profile creation.”
Puthenkandathil, despite acquiring some work experience in Windsor, admits none has been a result of resumé submission. “To secure employment, I had to leverage connections or acquaintances,” he noted, feeling a sense of impasse in Canada. Despite his repeated applications, he suspects over 50 companies have likely overlooked his resumé due to biases ingrained in their AI systems against his unique name.
In response, Picsume plans to hold a job fair on Sept. 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at WFCU Centre.