I will graduate from college this year. As that deadline looms closer and closer, I have started to realize that I need to find a job. I have been to several interview workshops and had my resume proofread by countless advisers. However, I just learned something that nobody ever bothered to tell me: resumes need keywords.
Most employers prefer resumes that are sent via email. These emailed resumes are then scanned by an Applicant Tracking System (basically, a search engine for resumes). These programs pre-screen your resume to determine if you are a qualified candidate for the position or if the interviewer should look elsewhere for their next employee.
Here a few basic guidelines for properly using resume keywords to get yourself the job interview. Beyond that, it’s up to you to dazzle the interviewer.
1. Be a Parrot. This doesn’t mean you should wear wings and a beak to your interview. You should include words that are included in the job description in your resume. The search engines are probably going to be looking for skills that are listed in the job description, so you should use those words in your resume. For example, if you are applying to be a personal assistant and the job description says the employer is seeking someone who can manage time effectively and is a self-starter, you should list those skills in your resume.
2. You know what happens when you assume… Well, in this situation, the opposite is true if you don’t assume that your resume will be scanned by an ATS.
“While applicant tracking systems are more common in large corporations, some smaller companies may also have installed these systems to help with hiring,” said Laura Smith-Proulx, author of Solving Your Toughest Resume Challenges. “My point is that you’ll never know if your resume actually needs to pass a keyword scan – so it should be ready for this step!”
3. Be creative with your keyword placement. Sure, you could just add a “skills” section to your resume and list all of the keywords there, but that does not really appeal to the ATS systems. Nor does it really impress the human interviewer who will eventually read your resume. Instead, use the keywords to describe yourself in full sentences about your accomplishments. Avoid just a plain list at all costs. Your resume is meant to portray all of your best attributes, and a boring old list just doesn’t cut it.
In addition to using keywords in your resume, you should still abide by the traditional rules of resume-writing. Keep your formatting consistent, describe your most successful and relevant work experiences, and make it visually appealing. These tricks will make your resume appealing to both human and ATS system.
Via AOL Jobs
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