Has applying for a job changed that much?

The answer is an emphatic ‘yes’ if you are looking for a professional role in a growing company that is using technology to unlock the potential in their people.

You see the difference in their position vacancy descriptions. They want ‘culture fit’, an understanding of ‘agile’, a ‘growth mindset’, the ability to collaborate in cross-functional teams, data literacy, continuous delivery – just some of today’s universal skills. If you are on the hunt for your next job, it’s important you can show your prospective employer that you possess these attributes.

The statistics say there is a growing skill shortage and employers are struggling to fill vacancies. Yet – as the statistics also tell us – there is at least one experienced and/or qualified, hard-working and willing-to-learn person for each one of those vacancies. And if you are such a person, it can be very frustrating, concerning  and disheartening when your capabilities are repeatedly overlooked. It’s hard to say what is worse: not knowing why your job applications aren’t getting up, or being told it’s because you are ‘over-qualified’ – whatever that means.

As a professional, you know well the process of matching skills with job criteria. You know that if you’re not in the top 1%, you’re just not in the running. There are only so many times you can makeover your CV and develop your cover letter-writing craft. If you are still passed over for jobs then, what is going on?

The game changer is technology.

Early résumé screening technology was based on crude keyword matching. The so-called applicant tracking software (ATS) that has been used for the past two decades has taught job advertisers and applicants alike that keyword stuffing yields the best job matches.  The result has not been good.

Hiring managers have over-relied on keywords, which usually relate to job and technical skills, to generate their top 1% shortlists. Applicant backgrounds with amenable keywords rise to become the top candidates – even when they are not. These screening tools may be time-savers, but they are not good at filtering for human capabilities.

Job applications that have been maximised for software has become the standard.  What is appealing to a computer program however is more likely to appear cookie-cutter, sterile and impersonal to human eyes. For someone that doesn’t have a clean match to a job, are less likely to make it past the ATS. If the application is screened by humans, chances are it won’t be engaging.

Whilst the use of technology for de-personalising applicants has contributed to the gap between job vacancies and able workers, new technology is re-shaping the opportunities for job-seekers.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is becoming the standard in recruitment software. This smart technology is able to process masses of data points to recognise attributes you bring to a job well beyond the limits of keywords. By comparing your application against millions of pieces of data and using AI’s predictive capabilities, employers can see your skills framed against your future potential – such as to be stable, tenacious, open and engaging – not just as a checklist of your past.

And digital technology is changing the skills employers look for

But as Industry 4.0 gains traction, it is good news for job-seekers.

What makes job applicants appealing to employers has expanded beyond past job titles. As enterprises battle a hyper-connected, rapidly-changing and uncertain competitive landscape, where the future has no comparable precedent, past jobs suddenly aren’t as important as life experience. The sets of skills that can make your application stand out have multiple names: soft skills, employability skills, 21st century skills, enterprise skills, human skills, individual capital, and personal intangible assets. They all refer to the skills that turn your technical skills and expertise into results.

Now you can be in the Top 1% – even if you don’t meet the position criteria

Technology is forcing enterprises to be flexible, adaptable, responsive, engaging, innovative, open, transparent and purpose-driven. That means they need much more than technical skills alone.
Technical skills still matter, of course, but employers realise that technical skills without the skills, like creative thinking, social competence, analytical thinking and business acumen, have limitations. They are much more willing to offer technical training to job applicants with the right attributes. Particularly, as they are facing critical shortages in qualified people.
Besides, technology is being implemented in organisations at such a rapid rate, that employer requirements are continually evolving. ‘Jobs’ – the main thing you highlight on your CV – are losing traction as the upcoming requirements look less and less like they used to. Candidates that can show they know how to apply skillsets (such as data skillsets, thinking skillsets, relational skillsets, and so on) are those that move up to the Top 1%.
The digital revolution has created a perfect storm for job-seekers who understand how to demonstrate their broader abilities to employers. Smart technology, humanised enterprises, organisations becoming agile and a growing skills shortage – the jobs are there for those who know how to get to the Top 1%.
Learn what’s changing and how to maximise the opportunities created by the transition to Industry 4.0.


This is a 6-week program aimed at helping you to get noticed by employers looking for your skills.

It is particularly designed for people who want jobs with values-led, people-oriented and dynamically growing organisations. These are enterprises that we know well, and we can share our deep understanding of what makes them tick with you.

Commencing with a full-day workshop, you will set a career strategy, including if necessary, reframing your professional profile to reflect your abilities and aspirations. In the 5 weeks that follow, you will be sent a pack with materials to complete, consisting of:

5 weekly learning packs with real-life activities to complete that will improve your CV/professional portfolio

5 weekly follow-up group coaching sessions you can attend in person or by teleconference that will hone your skills for job seeking and give you new ways to present yourself to prospective employers

Individual career plan and a coach to keep you accountable

Help to build up your professional network

Introductions to employers and recruiters in our talent community

Access to support during and for four weeks after the program to help you apply what you have learned and support your job search

On-going updates on trends and changes affecting the job market and organisations

Notification of jobs from our network of recruiters and employers

Access to offers and discounts from our partners

By the end of this program, you will have:

A clear sense of your motivations and priorities and the actions you will take to live your ideal professional life

Made concrete progress in your search for your ideal job and accumulated work outcomes that reflect your future path

Expanded your network with like-minded professionals

Learned the skills to keep you on the path to your envisaged future

Improved your CV with employer-relevant information

Program cost

AUD$2,450 per person (inc. GST); or

Two payments of $1,275.


Contact us for further information and start dates.

We offer a complimentary obligation-free consultation where we will be happy to discuss your questions and concerns. You will have the opportunity to evaluate whether this program is suitable for you.

The program

Week 1:

Self-discovery and the self-trust mindset

Enterprise you

Linchpin skills: self-management

Enabling skills: creativity, empathy and innovation

Week 2:

Getting out there – building your professional profile

How to find jobs and meet employers without relying on job boards

Week 3:

Research – what do you need to know about the work you want to do?

Business and commerce – building acumen

Week 4:

Users, customers, journeys and design

The adaptive workforce

Week 5:

Presentation skills

Perfecting your pitch

Week 6:

Succeeding on the job – landing the job is just the beginning!