Friday, May 28, 2021

How HR Computer Programs Read Your CV


If you send an application to a major company today, it is very likely that a computer will receive it there first.  More than 70 percent of companies already use so-called applicant management systems. These scan applications for predefined terms and match them with the job ad.  Do you have the degree required by the ad?  If not, the application may end up in the trash before a human employee has read it.

But not only then.  Often, minor mistakes are enough - and your application is sorted out.

HR departments don't have to compare several hundred applications by hand, and applicants get clarity faster. But the programs have their pitfalls and sometimes fail, for example, when it comes to formatting a resume.

How do you write a good resume?

To test the documents so-called CV parsers are used.  The program scans resumes for hiring criteria and specified search terms.  Then it generates a report on what it (didn't) find.  This allows people to spot problems before they send in their documents.

What exactly does a CV parser do?

Normally, the respective department reports the desired profile for new employees to the HR department.  Based on this, the HR department creates the job advertisement and enters all the important criteria into its applicant management system.   For example, final grade, professional experience, or field of study.  The CV parser scans all applications received for these criteria and pre-sorts them in a database.  Information that the program does not recognize is not transferred.

The database is later used by the HR and specialist departments for keyword searches ("Show all applicants with relevant work experience / the right degree / the right grade") - sometimes employees don't even look at the CVs themselves.  Thus, a lack of machine readability can become a pitfall for the application.

An Example:

Here is a fictitious applicant: Christine Sanders. After graduating from high school in Augsburg, she completed a degree in business administration with a focus on textile retailing. At the same time, she gained professional experience at several large textile chains and is now doing a traineeship for junior managers.

Carla Aubin checked Christine's fictitious resume for errors using her CV parser.  The result: the program had problems understanding the information on seven points - and what the computer didn't understand, it either didn't pass on or sorted incorrectly.

Studies and final grade

Christine took a specialized business administration course, but the term "business administration" does not appear.  So if the company had specified a business degree as an exclusion criterion, Christine would have been automatically sorted out.  Applicants need to use the term mentioned in the job advertisement as such.

Also relevant: Christine completed her bachelor's degree with a grade of 2.0, and her high school diploma with a grade of 1.7 - any human employee in a human resources department would probably recognize that.  However, the CV parser had problems with this because the grade was not preceded by the word "degree".  Because the grade is listed on the same line as the degree program.  If she had instead written "Final grade: 2.0" on a separate line, the program would have been able to read and match the information.

Foreign languages or driver's licenses?

Very good English, even better French, and basics in Swedish: Some parsers, however, recognize the combination of letters and numbers standardized for language levels as a driver's license - or not at all.  In the test, the program made an upper level in English and did not even show French and Swedish in the evaluation.  Probably because they are listed on the same line as English.

Better use the terms 'fluent' or 'business fluent'. In addition, he says, you should make sure to list all the languages required in the job posting - which means also noting that you have a command of German, even if you can assume that if you have a German high school diploma.  CV parsers are usually not proficient in transfer skills: in the evaluation of Christine's CV, it was stated that she was not proficient in German...

Artistic elements

More and more CVs are sent in with graphical elements, especially in creative industries: Bar charts, diagrams, or star ratings reminiscent of Google are supposed to make clear at a glance what knowledge one has.  However, CV parsers usually don't understand these images at all.  A simple listing will get you further in this case.

Date formats

Especially when applying to multinational companies, you can get into trouble because of the dates. The 4th of July this year would be written "7/4/21" in the USA, in Germany "4.7.2021". Ricci also couldn't keep track of exactly when he worked at all of his jobs. As a result, he alternates between year dates, month dates, and day dates in his resume.

In the test, this led to the fact that, in the parser's eyes, Ricci had been in a student internship at a cabinetmaker's shop continuously since 2013. "Ideally, therefore, you should always use only the format MM.YYYY when specifying stations in your resume," advises Dehn.


Christine comes from the textile trade, DOB is a common term there for "women's outerwear," AWS stands for "accessories, lingerie, socks."  Specialists would understand this, but the program doesn't - and sorts Ricci's professional experience as PC knowledge instead.  So it is better to write out all terms.

Change or promotion within the company

The CV parser usually recognizes only one of them.  "Information from applicants who have held two or three different positions within a company and deal with that in one CV station is usually never well understood by the program.  Better to list the different tasks as individual items.

Everything on one page

As a service to the recruiter, applicants like to try to keep the resume concise and compress it into two columns on one page.  This is one of the biggest problems for the computer.  Parsers often scan from the far left to the far right; unrelated information is thus quickly mixed up.  If you abandon the romantic notion that a person reads the application first, you can submit a multi-page resume without hesitation.

Convincing with the letter of motivation

It is true that the human eye understands and corrects many such errors during matching. But parsers are used precisely to save time.  Often, therefore, the original is no longer even looked at.

And what about the cover letter - is it still important today if the application is evaluated by a computer anyway?  Yes!  But especially in the second step. Because once you have overcome the hurdles of the algorithms, a human still reads the application.  And they still want to be impressed with a good cover letter.




Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Underestimated Danger: Ship exhaust gases

Thick air cannot only be found in cities but also where we would not expect it at all: on rivers and seas.  An extremely harmful mixture of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and soot oozes from the chimneys of cruise ships and container ships.  This not only pollutes the air on coasts but also far inland.  

The Helmholtz Centre regularly measure the pollution levels on the banks of the Elbe in Hamburg.  Every passing ship brings the sensitive instruments of the measuring station to the limit.  And this despite the fact that since 2015 ships on their way to the port of Hamburg have only been allowed to burn comparatively clean fuel.  It may contain a maximum of 0.1% sulphur.  Sounds clean, but it is still 100 times more than in normal car diesel.

The ocean liners then become dirt slingshots on the high seas. Because there they are allowed to burn the cheapest and most toxic fuel there.  The viscous mass contains high levels of sulphur, ash and heavy metals.  When it burns, all of this ends up in our atmosphere.

Ship exhaust fumes do not only travel far inland - up to 500 kilometres inland.  They become even more dangerous there, as nitrogen oxides from ships' diesel engines react with air pollutants from agriculture and together they cause the formation of fine dust.

Catalysts or other propulsion technology, such as liquid gas, could help.
These measures could contribute significantly to the reduction of nitrogen oxides.

Cruise Passengers Also Travel Dangerously
Incidentally, the exhaust gases are a huge burden not only for the people living nearby but also for the people on the ships themselves.  A camera team took air samples on a cruise ship and had the quality measured.  The frightening result: the pollution with soot and other fine dust particles was four to ten times higher there than on a busy city crossing!


Alternative LNG 
The ferry "MS Helgoland", for example, uses such liquid gas.  It is the first German seagoing vessel newbuilding ever to be powered by liquefied petroleum gas or LNG.  The natural gas, which is liquefied by extreme cooling, is slowly heated before combustion and then injected directly into the propulsion engines.  Compared to conventional fuels, LNG propulsion reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by around 80 %, and particulate matter emissions are virtually zero.  Once a week the ferry has to bunker fuel.  The comparatively small amount of frozen gas can still be delivered by tanker.  However, a comprehensive infrastructure for refuelling large container or cruise ships would first have to be established.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Myths About Ticks


The first signs of spring - warm weather and blooms - are often greeted with joy. But soon comes the realization that with warm weather come ticks. Here are some of the most common myths about ticks that need to be debunked:

Myth: Ticks are only seasonally active in forests

Many people think that ticks can only survive in forests from spring to fall, but this is no longer true. Ticks are even being found in people’s backyards due to the annual reproduction of nearby populations. Unfortunately, some of these ticks have also tested positive for Lyme Disease.

Myth: Ticks can jump

Many people described having ticks jumping on them from trees, but ticks can’t jump.  Instead, they patiently sit on low vegetation or crawl around the ground, sensing a host’s heat or carbon dioxide.  Ticks search for their next meal when temperatures are above 4 degrees celsius. During the winter, people think that ticks are inactive or dead because of the cold. However, if temperatures rise above freezing for several days, ticks can emerge from dormancy.

Myth: All Ticks are infected with Lyme disease

People often panic thinking they will immediately get infected with Lyme disease if they’re bitten by a tick.  However, some ticks may not be infected at all, while others can carry a variety of less prevalent diseases.  Blacklegged ticks can also transmit babesiosis, a parasite that infects red blood cells and Powassan virus which can cause an infection of the brain. 

Dog ticks are well-known carriers of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia, a rare infectious disease — also known as rabbit fever or deer fly fever.  

If a tick is infected, the time it takes for a disease to be transmitted varies. Usually, Lyme disease could happen in less than sixteen hours, the Powassan virus is transmitted in less than 15 minutes.

Tick Removal Myths

Ticks have developed a critical tool to discreetly attach to their host: saliva.  We don’t react to their bites because ticks make sure we don’t know they’re there.  Their saliva contains multiple components that trick our bodies into blocking pain and itching, as well as stopping any defensive immune responses.  When a tick is attached, it should be removed quickly. 

How to properly remove an attached tick: First, locate the head of the tick close to the skin with fine-tipped tweezers. Then, pull the tick straight upward with even force.  Fine-tipped tweezers are the only efficient and safe way to remove a tick!  Use the tweezers to grab the head close to the skin and lift straight upwards with steady even pressure. Parts of the tick’s head or mouth may remain, but they are unable to transmit any disease without the body.

Prepare for trips into nature: Wear a hat, long sleeves, and pants, and avoid open shoes. Take off and check your clothes carefully after returning home.



Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Tips for Successful Publishing - Newsletter May 2021


Tips for Successful Publishing - Newsletter May 2021 

by 111Publishing and SavvyBookWriters

Content of this May Newsletter:


Happy May -- the beautiful bridge between spring and summer!  

Why not get some motivation in writers' conferences?  Or start your online shop?  Or find new distributors?  Why?  As in so many world publishing markets, the “digital acceleration” prompted by lockdowns, bookstore closures, and other virus spread-mitigation measures, has made e-commerce a higher priority than it was for many elements of the book business.  US Audiobooks and Ebooks Maintain Strength. AAP Stats February Report: More than 20% over last year!   Invest in audiobooks!  Read more in this article


More Motivation Tips

A Must-Read:  Self-Published Book Gets Movie Deal ... Without an Agent


Now, ask yourself: Why Are You Still Selling Books Only Via Amazon? 

Find here dozens of opportunities and distributors where else you can sell your books online:


It’s Tax Time - What Writers Can Deduct from Taxes:
Don’t wait until the last minute. The tax season is already in full swing.



Boldface Conference for Emerging Writers. May 24 - 28, 2021: Houston, Texas. Daily workshops, readings, craft talks, social events, and professionalism panels in an intimate and supportive environment designed specifically with the needs of emerging writers in mind.


San Diego Writing Workshop. May 14 - 15, 2021. "This is a special two-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on May 14-15, 2021. In other words, it’s two days full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction.


Don’t miss this article: Five Takeaways from a Writers Conference



Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition

One Grand Prize winner will receive $5,000, a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference. The first-place winner in each category will receive $1,000.  $30 Entry Fee.  Deadline May 7


Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

Prizes: $2000, $500, $250, and two $125. Winning stories will be read by three literary agents. Limit 10,000 words. We accept entries in English from anywhere in the world. Literary fiction only.   $17 Entry Fee.  Deadline May 15.

2021 CBC Poetry Prize for Canadians

The winner will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre.  Four finalists will each receive $1,000.  Submit an original, unpublished poem, up to 600 words.  Deadline May 30

Bridport Poetry Prize

First prize: £5,000. Second prize: £1,000. Third prize: £500 and publication. Highly Commended 10 x £100. Open to writers of any nationality writing in English aged over 16.   £10 Entry Fee.  Deadline May 31


James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing Awards. 

Prize: $2,500. Open to aboriginal youth, 18 years or younger, residing in Ontario, Canada. 

Deadline: May 31


CNO Naval History Essay Contest. 

Prize: First Prize: $5,000. Second Prize:$2,500.  Third Prize: $1,500.  Deadline: May 31


Bridport Novel Award

First prize: £1,500. The winning story features in our anthology, so you will see your words in print. Second prize: £750. Three third prizes: £150 and publication. 8,000 words max, 5,000 min. PLUS 300-word synopsis, which should form the first page/s of your entry.  £20 Entry Fee.  Deadline May 31


To Hull and Back Humorous Short Story Contest

A biennial short story contest with a humorous twist that celebrates the most imaginative and amazing short stories from writers all over the world. The top prize is £1,200.  Entry Fee: $18.  Deadline July 31


Juniper Prizes

The University of Massachusetts Press publishes the winning manuscripts and the authors receive a $1,000 award upon publication. Submissions are accepted between August 1 and September 30. Entry Fee: $30.  Deadline September 30




Northwest Quarterly 

Smart Living Live and Northwest Quarterly cover the best of life in Northern Illinois, Southern Wisconsin, Northwest Chicagoland, and Fort Wayne Indiana.  Multiple regional magazines to pitch.  Pays around 15 cents/word for articles up to 2,400 words.


Fido Friendly

Start enjoying the fun and informative topics covered in every issue: Travel, Health, Wellness, Training, Fashion, Pet Nutrition, and reviews of the latest Top Pet Products on the market. FIDO Friendly is the essential guide for the best travel destinations where both you AND your dog are welcome.  Pays ten cents/word for up to 1,200 words.


Orion’s Belt 

Orion’s Belt is the home of bold, experimental literary science fiction and fantasy. Stories should make us think about our place in the universe and our relationships with each other and blur the line between “genre” fiction and literary fiction.  All under 1,200 words.  Eight cents USD per word.


Jakes Country

An educational publication of the not-for-profit National Wild Turkey Federation, dedicated to involving youth in conservation and passing on the North American hunting tradition. The NWTF is committed to the conservation and proper management of the wild turkey and upholds lawful, ethical, and safe hunting; the principles of modern wildlife management; and the protection and enhancement of wildlife habitat for the recreational use of this and future generations.  Publications/Creative Services contact is Olivia Bacon at  The editor is Matt Stewart at  Payment is 40-50 cents per word for departments up to 500 words and features up to 1,200 words.


Harper's Magazine

It has a circulation of more than 220,000. They publish fiction, art, and nonfiction.  Payment: According to Who Pays Writers Harper's pays between 25 cents and a dollar a word.  Snail mail submissions only.


One Story 

They are seeking literary short stories. Single stories are sent to email subscribers every month. Length: Between 3,000 and 8,000 words. Payment: $500 and 25 contributors copies.


The Paris Review 

In its long history as a literary magazine The Paris Review has published such luminaries as Jack Kerouac, Philip Larkin, V. S. Naipaul, Philip Roth, Adrienne Rich. The Paris Review accepts fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.  Payment: 10 cents/word to $100 flat fee.




New Hampshire Artist Entrepreneurial Grants

Artist Entrepreneurial Grants recognize the importance of the creative workforce to New Hampshire’s economy. It supports opportunities that will benefit artists’ careers, including the development of business skills, participation in programs to raise the level and quality of their art.  Deadlines May 7, August 6, and November 5, 2021.




Word of mouth is often considered the most effective form of promotion, and a glowing book review of your book can get it recommended by one reader to another.  Reviews help readers decide which books to spend their money and time reading

When submitting your book for review, put “KBR Book Request” in the subject line to these reviewers:


Annette Ranald


Lashanta Charles


David Burnett

Multiple Genres

Meridith West

Multiple Genres

Carrie Smith



111 Tips to Create Impressive Videos: 
How to Plan, Create, Upload, and Market Videos

111 Tips To Make Money With Writing
The Art of Making a Living Full-time Writing -
An Essential Guide for More Income as Freelancer

111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free:
Detailed Plans and Smart Strategies for Your Book’s Success

111 Tips to Get Free Book Reviews:
Best Strategies for Getting Lots of Great Reviews
1,200+ reviewer contact links


111 Tips to Create Your Book Trailer
How to Create, Where to Upload, and How to Market Your Videos

Book Marketing on a Shoestring:
How Authors Can Promote their Books Without Spending a Lot of Money

Many famous people were born in May, such as Mark Zuckerberg, Karl Marx, Clint Eastwood, Wes Anderson, John F. Kennedy, Queen Victoria, and Catherine the Great!  Be motivated! 

Happy Mother’s Day! Continue to be in awe of moms who are meeting the challenges with triumph. And that’s something that’s always worth celebrating.




Sunday, May 2, 2021

29 Expenses Writers Can Deduct from Income Tax


Tax season is already in full swing.  Don’t wait until the last minute.
Writers are presumed to be a professional if their writing made a profit in at least three out of the last five tax years, including the current year. This means not more than two years of expenses that are higher than the author's income.

Considerations of Profitability
There are a couple of other considerations that revenue agencies, such as the IRS, are listing, for example:

  • Have you made a profit in similar activities in the past? If you have a successful book under your belt — or even a series of articles in paid publications, such as newspapers, magazines, or online publications, which means you are a professional writer.
  • Do you have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business?  How much do you know about running that business?  Are you running it like a business, keeping records, keeping an eye on profitability?  Did you take classes/seminars about the publishing business (e.g. marketing or tax etc.) no matter if online or offline?
  • Have you created a professional book marketing and publicity plan?  This might even be shown by including affiliate programs on your website/blog.  If there are losses, are they due to circumstances beyond your control or did they occur in the start-up phase of the business?

Expenses You Can Deduct:
It’s important to find every deduction to which you are entitled. Always try to pay expenses from a separate account, set up only for your writing business, to make bookkeeping easier.  Keep receipts and make copies of payments to contractors, freelancers, and agency fees for book production, such as:

  • Proofreading
  • Editing
  • Illustrations
  • Photos
  • Graphic Design
  • Book Layout
  • Printing costs
  • eBook Formatting
  • Advanced Copy reviews
  • Book Trailer Design

Book Promotion Costs, for example:

  • Advertisements, online and offline
  • Giveaways (free book review copies, pens, etc.)
  • Flyers, brochures, business cards, bookmarks
  • Book Fair expenses
  • Costs for newsletters (AWeber, MailChimp, etc.)
  • Entry fees for writing contests

Other Costs, such as:

  • Transportation costs (note the dates, distance, reason)
  • Rental for book readings
  • Office rental or mortgage, heating, electricity for your home office by square feet
  • Phone / Internet / e-Reader costs
  • Website/blog expenses, such as hosting or development
  • Computer / Copy Machine / Scanner / Router
  • Office Supplies
  • Meal expenses: in the USA full for public events you might host, and 50% if it is for a business purpose (interview, writers conference, meeting with book professionals, publishers, agents etc.)
  • Transportation to meetings, events
  • Research costs
  • Copyright registration and ISBN fees
  • Your tax preparer or tax lawyer.

File Your Expenses - Over the Year
Keep all your expense slips sorted by date and neatly filed to make it easier to find them.  If you pay anyone of the above listed more than a couple of hundred dollars, such as editors, for example, you would need to include the contract and a form (in the United States it is IRS Form 1099-MISC).

Note for each meal/entertainment expense the names, number of people participating, and the reason for a meeting)
Publishers Weekly Gives this Advice
“Income from an S corporation is not subject to Medicare tax,” says Robert Pesce, a partner in the media and entertainment group at Marcum LLP. “Only the salary an author is paid by the S corp is subject to the tax. So, an author with an S corporation who is earning $1 million and pays him- or herself $200,000 (a very reasonable salary at that earnings level) will only pay $6,000 (3%) in Medicare taxes, while an unincorporated author (sole proprietor) would pay approximately $30,000.”

However, if you are just starting out with less than a handful of books, a sole proprietorship might be sufficient: Lawyer Helen Sedwick advices: “They are simpler to operate and subject to fewer arbitrary rules than the C corporations, S corporations, and LLC’s.”

Further Reading:
Income Tax Rules for Non-US Authors
Ten Things Not to do While Completing Your Taxes

 These tips are meant to give general insight into tax information to writers, especially in the USA, and to give you an entry point so you can research further.  While every effort was made to ensure the information in this article is accurate at the time it was written, we are not tax experts.  Anyone filing taxes should consult a qualified tax preparer for updated tax laws and further specifics on how these rules might apply to your individual tax situation.