Illustration: Rob Wilson By Sue Shellenbarger Sue Shellenbarger The Wall Street Journal Biography Dec. 16, 2019 5:30 am ET

Job seekers often spend hours online researching employers and polishing their applications and résumés. Then they hit send.

And they hear nothing. Ever.

Looking for a job is hard enough without being rejected by a robot. But applicant-screening and tracking systems are increasingly powerful job-market gatekeepers. After scanning résumés, they hurl most applicants into a digital

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