EP 1006 I explain what your part in this may be . .  .and what their part is, too.

Read Full Transcript

So why do online applications ask you to fill in particular fields?  Why did they ask you questions when your resume has all the answers?

Starts off with the fact that employers, particularly large ones, but actually any employer as government reporting requirements in order to ensure that they don't conduct themselves in a discriminatory manner.  It's not as though there is anything personalized about this, but the statistics show that they interview (I'm just picking numbers at random) 100 people from a diverse population (a non-white male population) and 100 people are rejected. The government has the opportunity to say, "Huh. That's interesting.  Let's explore more deeply."

In the US at least, government requires that firms maintain certain types of data.  Let's go beyond that.

When you upload a resume and the system attempts to parse it, your resume may not be in a format or in a type font that that is easily readable by the system.

Catch that one again.

This is your part of the equation.  It may not be easily readable or in a type font that is parsable by their system.  As a result, you have to fill in certain fields.  Whether it is name or address fields that the system is just not able to read, your email address, the system has a concern.

Some applicant tracking systems asked the county in which you live. I have no idea why they need this information when so many systems are set up so that they can search by a radius of a particular ZIP Code.  Some are ridiculous and will ask for the county.  I think a moron design the form I forgot that people are human and not your sheep.  That one has nothing to do with government reporting.

The real reasons are (#1) your resume was not readable.

2. They may be asking for ridiculous things like the example of the county which isn't going to be anywhere in your resume.  Without that city, state or ZIP Code field

3.  I think this is a valid one.  So many people are not including addresses, so there is no city, state or ZIP Code information on a resume.  They are giving just a name, email address and phone number when they submit the resume.  If a person is doing a search in her applicant tracking system for someone with a particular background, they are never going to find you.  Without that city, state and ZIP Code field, without a phone number or mobile number (Remember that area codes of the phone number don't necessarily correlate to where you live), how did they find you?

It's very possible that your lack of an address is causing the system to request this information so that they can find you again.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching and life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Visit www.TheBigGameHunter.us and click the relevant tab on the top of the page.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

Join and attend my classes on Skillshare

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle on Amazon and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.” If you are starting your search, order, “Get Ready for the Job Jungle.”

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes

If you want to know how to win more interviews, order “Winning Interviews.” You’ll learn how to win phone interviews, in-person interviews, the best question to ask on any interview and more.

Would you like to talk through a salary negotiation or potential negotiation you’re involved with? Order and schedule time with me.

Do you have questions or would like advice about networking or any aspect of your search. Order and schedule time with me.

Would you like me to critique your resume. Order a critique from me

For more about LinkedIn, order “Stacked: Double Your Job Interviews, Leverage Recruiters and Unlock LinkedIn.”

Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon.

About the author

Leave a Comment, Thought, Opinion. Speak like you're speaking with someone you love.

%d bloggers like this: